Recovering the EU economies – a modest proposal

All the main EU economies are slowing down, and some are already well into property collapses and Credit crunch. Whilst the UK is the worst placed of the majors thanks to heavy government indebtedness as well as private sector borrowing levels, they all need some relief from rising costs and falling demand.

The EU could help. I offer this challenge to it. It should, for the next two years, agree to no more legislation of any kind which imposes more costs and burdens on us. It should give the committees and officials drafting it all a couple of years off, and not replace them as and when they retire or leave for other reasons.

The businesses of Europe would be mightily relieved if they no longer had to keep up with the torrent of legislation coming from Brussels, and could concentrate on more important things to combat the Credit Crunch.

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14 Comments

  1. Mark Wadsworth
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Good plan.

    All they need is a committee and working group to draw up a shortlist of the personal qualities and experience needed by the team of administrators and bureaucrats who will form the initial steering group to thrash out an implementation strategy (continued page 94).

    • Acorn
      Posted August 11, 2008 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Mark, you have forgotten the "elf 'n' safety risk assessment" and the "regulatory impact assessment"; oh, and the "environmental impact assessment".

  2. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I think you must know the answer to this one. They are like the Labour government, they know best in everything and if they stopped passing legislation we may think we do not need them.

    What happened to freedom we are becomming like an old Soviet Eastern Bloc country thanks to Labour and the EU.

  3. Letters From A Tory
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    According to the Telegraph this morning, the EU has twice as many bureaucrats as the UK has soldiers – so I'm sure they can let a few of them go!
    http://lettersfromatory.wordpress.com

  4. David Cooper
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Aesop's fable of the frog and the scorpion springs to mind – despite the sting sentencing both creatures to their death as the frog swum the river with the scorpion on its back, the frog's vain protest only drew the response "I'm a scorpion: it's my nature."

  5. David Eyles
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Given that the EU is incorrigible and beyond reformation, then surely, the best way of acheiving your pipe dream is leave the EU altogether.

  6. steve-roberts
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    A good start, but why a temporary halt to new legislation, rather than a permanent one ? and why not repeal the lot rather than just stop adding to it ?

  7. Acorn
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    John, we are told that EU legislation now forms a large part of the UK legislative process. My question is, how much influence do you as an MP have over the introduction of these EU Directives?

    For instance, on the "have your say" (TSO) site, there is an example of a EU Directive being enacted by a Statutory Instrument. Was this ever discussed anywhere in Westminster or is it just nodded through by the SI procedure?
    http://www.haveyoursayonline.net/whatis/regulatio

    Also, is it true that many Acts, have clauses / schedules that never have a "commencement order" because someone decides they will not work. (There is an example of the Easter Act 1928, that has still not had a commencement order).
    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/l01.pdf

    Reply: All too much legislation comes from Brussels – our government gives in and presents it to Parliament on a take it or take it basis, much of it implemented by SI

    A repeal statute would be a great idea, but how the hell you unwind all this primary and secondary legislation; and, all the previous legislation that has been amended by it; where do you start?????

    • Mark Wadsworth
      Posted August 11, 2008 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      "Where do you start?"

      Easy. The next Tory government just repeals every law enacted since 1997 (see recent thread on Con Home) (unless, let's say, there is a petition of at least 500,000 signatures demanding that it be retained, in which case it is put to the vote). And then we work backwards in time.

  8. wrinkled weasel
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    A refreshing and brilliant idea.

    My refreshing and brilliant idea is to blockade France. That's right..cut off their ports, close the tunnel, prevent their planes landing at Heathrow. (They do understand the concept of blockades) Tell them, that we will lift the blockade when they finally accept that the CAP is preposterous and agree to get rid of it.

  9. Derek W. Buxton
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Is there not an "Enabling Act", brought in to make the transfer of EU regulations and Directives into British law much easier? The EU is a major problem because it does what all beaurocrats do, cause problems for everybody else. But our "National" government blindly passes these into British law without question. By the way this stricture applies as much to conservative as labour governments. If my first sentence is correct then the first thing is to repeal the act. I suspect too many people have their snouts in the trough for this to happen.

    With all due respect to you, sir, I do not believe that your leader will rock the EU boat and frankly I see no possibility of someone coming along with the courage and following capable of saving our once Great nation from the EU. I do so hope that I am wrongbut will not hold my breath.

  10. mikestallard
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    OK now for the good news.
    I have just heard that Global Vision (Ruth Lee) is to ally with the Taxpayers Alliance.
    "We now have 75-plus eminent business supporters; 28 top economists on our Advisory Panel; 9 Fellows; 60 Parliamentary Friends; and over 400 public supporters. Our lunch seminar series and business breakfasts have also proved to be very popular. Our arguments are now taken seriously."
    There seems to be some sort of bandwagon beginning to roll.
    Hooray!

  11. Keith
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    As has been said above, it's in their nature, they can't help themselves.

    I should be interested to hear your views, John, on Great Britain's leaving the EU altogether. I imagine that if a referendum was held (some hope!) there would be a resounding Yes to the question.."Should we leave?"

  12. APL
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, an article on the Russia – Georgian situation, with comments on the wisdom of using the so called peace dividend to prop up the welfare state, rather than our military?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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