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Monday, 15 June 2009

A bonfire of the Directives!

The debate on exactly what proportion of our law comes from Brussels seems to swing between those who claim about 10% and those who claim about 90%. As of 1st May 2009, there are 17,314 EU Acts in force, broken down as follows;

General, financial and institutional - 1,128
Customs Union and free movement of goods - 860
Agriculture - 3,064
Fisheries - 774
Freedom of movement for workers - 440
Right of establishment and freedom to provide services - 234
Transport policy - 606
Competition policy - 1,650
Taxation - 173
Economic and monetary policy - 385
External relations - 3,128
Energy - 348
Industrial policy and internal market - 1,394
Regional policy - 368
Environment, consumers and health - 1,126
Science, information, education and culture - 380
Law relating to undertakings - 310
Common foreign and security policy - 402
Freedom, security and justice - 526
People's Europe - 18

To be fair, not all of these apply to the UK. Not all are laws that act on individuals or businesses - some command our elected government; such a one is hidden amongst 'People's Europe' in a peculiarly EU Weaselspeak categorisation, and instructs Her Majesty's Government that
The colour of the cover of the passport introduced by each Member State is as close as possible to RAL standard 4004 (Bordeaux red - violet) laid down by the German Standardization Committee.
This is just a fraction of a single law. Multiply this by ten, and then by the 17,314 EU Acts in force, and you start to get some idea of how far the malign and pernicious centralism of the federasts has penetrated our national identity.

I've always viewed book-burning with revulsion, but give me a chance and I'd pile each one of those 17,314 Acts in a huge heap in the middle of Grand Place in Brussels, fire it and dance joyously around the flames.


Scrobs... said...

As far as I can see, there are lots of lawyers being made redundant at the moment, so who's going to advise on these?

Anonymous said...

And who do you suppose will give you a chance to indulge this delightful fantasy?

Clue: no future British government of any of our existing major parties.

Anonymous said...

What seems to be happening is that there are so many laws, arranged in such a hideously sub-optimal way that we have probably already passed the point at which nobody knows what laws apply where and where law merely consists of digging an obscure rule out of the morass to confound an opponent in a court of law.

The silly thing is that we already have systems to control and administer truly enormous amounts of text in the form of computer source code control systems; these systems are not in use anywhere to control how laws are administered.

The net result is a horrible mess, being compounded by the EU's inability to admit a mistake or do anything save layer more crap on top of the previous layer of smelly rubbish.

Really, we now have a choice: ignore the problem and go back to Common Law as administered by the courts, or try to fix the problem which will involve an enormous amount of work on the part of the EU to clean up the vile, stinking mess it has made. Option three is to simply ditch the lot along with the vast bulk of NuLabour's stinking rubbish and start over with strict input controls.

Anonymous said...

Given the increasing numbers, scope and complexity of laws, is it humanly possible for a single individual to read each one start to finish in the course of a professional lifetime?

It is an ancient principle that ignorance of the law is no defense. But this principle originated in times when laws were few and widely known and understood.

Surely we are approaching, or perhaps beyond, the point at which the sheer volume of legislation makes ignorance a reasonable defense, or at least a mitigating factor, so long as a good faith effort to generally act in a legal manner can be demonstrated.