Deregulation and the EU

 

               The Prime MInister has rightly been tackling the EU Commission over the excessive zeal for new regulations. He is putting deregulation back on the agenda.

                 The new Transport Minister Mr Goodwill needs the PM’s help. His very first Transport Council tomorrow has on the agenda a new regulation on compensation and assistance to air passengers, as well as a new approach to joint air traffic management. It will also discuss a new Directive on railway safety.

                  Meanwhile, back at home we heard yesterday of the government and opposition combined plans to regulate the press, and listened to Ministers make a case for regulation of lobbyists through new UK law.

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39 Comments

  1. uanime5
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Given that the proposed lobbying law won’t effect 90% of what corporate lobbyist do and seems mainly be have been designed to prevent charities and voluntary groups highlighting problems caused by the government it’s no surprise that the public is opposing this law.

    • Credible
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Indeed

  2. ian wragg
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    John, when will the EU stop interfering with our lives. I see today they have voted to change the practices of airline passengers and stop cigarettes being sold in 10’s.
    Will we ever be rid of this monster.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      The fresh EU interference on tobacco products, not just banning packets of 10’s, was actively organised by a Conservative minister.

      http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2013/10/brian-monteith-the-government-wants-to-stem-the-flow-of-powers-to-europe-so-whats-it-doing-with-these-smoking-laws.html

      “Of course, it should be said that Conservative MEPs have the UK Government (and two Conservative ministers in particular) to thank for the situation they find themselves in. In his letter to MEPs Jeremy Hunt states: “I was pleased that member states were able to agree their position on the Directive in June”.

      What he fails to mention is that member states were only able to agree a position because of the interventions of Conservative Minister Anna Soubry who acted in defiance of the Westminster’s European Scrutiny Committee when she attended the meeting in Luxembourg to negotiate on behalf of the UK at a meeting of European ministers. Furthermore, and in her own words, UK government support for the European Commission’s proposals at that meeting was decisive in securing a ‘general approach’ amongst member states:

      “Four member states – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland and Romania were unable to offer their support, which meant that the UK’s support (of the Tobacco Products Directive) was decisive in forming a qualified majority”.

      So we have a European Directive that has still to be scrutinised and debated by Westminster Parliament being not just supported, but actively driven forward, by UK Conservative ministers.”

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted October 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Denis,
        This is the “Eurosceptic” Conservative party in action. Yet we are regularly beseeched here and elsewhere to believe that Cameron and the Conservative party are serious about repatriating powers from the EU and that he will allow us a vote to leave the EU. Remember just a year ago Cameron repeated time and again that he was not in favour of a referendum. They really do think we are stupid.

        • Bryan
          Posted October 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          No! They think we are gullible.

        • APL
          Posted October 9, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          Brian Tomkinson: “They really do think we are stupid.”

          They have grounds Brian, people keep voting for these muppets!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 10, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

            That’s because most people still don’t understand it; and why should they, when only a very small minority have the time and inclination to follow these matters in detail, and the rest have little choice but to accept the garbled version they are fed by our pro-EU political establishment through the mass media, albeit now with increasing scepticism and therefore increasing reluctance?

            And it has been noticeable that since we have been blessed with a Conservative Prime Minister some of the supposedly non-party groups which previously campaigned vigorously against the EU when Labour was in power have been much more muted or have fallen completely silent.

      • stred
        Posted October 10, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

        Just like gay marriage, it turns out that British politicians were making the moves behind our backs.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 10, 2013 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      Quite right. Many people are still reeling over the banning of selling cigarettes in singles especially children. Now a packet of quality smokes is hitting eight quid plus how is anyone in particular teenagers on pocket money supposed to afford a full pack?

      • stred
        Posted October 11, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        They are good at finding ways around the Nannies. I found my teenage offspring’s friends were getting a park dosser to buy the vodka for a fee of a 6 pack of ratbiter lager. For 10 cancer tubes, just share with another bright young lady after school.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

          I blame it on the parents for not buying their children fags and booze and the government with their ‘For hard working people’ policy. Not Nobby and Sid for their roles as tramps and drunken undesirables harassing woman shoppers and begging for loose change. Their trade is as old as England. A Support Your local Dosser! campaign is needed.

  3. ian wragg
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    sorry that should have read pilots

  4. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Nice dog whistle about the EU but devoid of any facts. Cameron isn’t interested in deregulation and has no intention of doing anything to allow the UK to leave the EU – you know it and we know it.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Smokescreens Brian, smokescreens. Just as long as he makes the right noises, people will again fall for it and be duped into voting for him. But hints and nuances will not satisfy those of us who bother to take more than a passing interest in the way the EU has crept into, and degraded our laws and democracy. Cameron isn’t serious, and he’s banking on the smoke not being blown away to reveal his true intensions. Let’s create a bit of a draught prior to the Euro elections next year!

      Tad

      • Horatio McSherry
        Posted October 10, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Tad, I agree.

        “Just as long as he makes the right noises, people will again fall for it…”

        and

        “…hints and nuances will not satisfy those of us who bother to take more than a passing interest…”.

        Unfortunately the former massively out-number the latter. And the former are not just ignorant; they are willfully and pro-actively ignorant. You trying talking to someone about the politics behind any decision and they’re interested…right up until you deviate from the main-stream media’s narrative of the situation. Then there’s a perceptible change in their demeanour and they shut down or dismiss the conversation out of the fear of having to think.

  5. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    A small pebble can make many ripples

  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I see that MEPs want the EU to regulate fracking out of existence:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fracking/10367432/EU-red-tape-threatens-future-of-fracking.html

    There are three questions:

    1. Does the UK government still have a veto over such regulations?

    2. If the UK government does not have a veto, who gave it away?

    (Was it Heath, Thatcher, Major, Blair or Brown?)

    3. If the UK government does have a veto, will ministers actually use it?

    • matthu
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      It seems that the EU is hell-bent on using whatever regulations they can to defend renewable energy against cheaper shale gas.

      “If ever shale would become as cheap as in the US, we really would have a problem. We are strong defenders of renewables. It is very important we keep investing in renewable technologies.”

      The Treaty of Lisbon placed energy at the heart of European activity. It effectively gave energy a new legal basis which it lacked in the previous treaties (Article 194 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)).

      I think we did once have an opportunity to veto the Lisbon Treaty … and someone once suggested that we might like a referendum to confirm our willingness to be bound by it.

      Now it is simply assumed that we are happier IN than OUT. (By the way, we always talk about the benefits of being IN EUROPE, part of EUROPE. But we talk about the ruinous impact of leaving the EU. Or at least Clegg does, and where he goes Cameron will surely follow.)

      • uanime5
        Posted October 10, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Shale gas didn’t prove to be cheaper in Poland, despite years of fracking.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      The EU have gone from rubbishing claims that there are any hydrocarbons to trying to impede exploration .

      Sounds like the green gravy train can see it’s business model heading down the toilet and are desperately trying to cling on to power .

      They are insisting that the EAI’s are done by neutrals who have to be “appropriately qualified” .

      The EU cannot compete when it imports 60% of it’s oil and gas and pays 3 times as much for gas and electricity as the U.S.

      Let’s see what the people of Europe have to say when energy intensive industries and the chemical industries and their suppliers up sticks for foreign shores .

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Denis ,

      On Friday France’s consitutional court is due to hand down a verdict on whether Sarkozy’s governments abrogation of oil and gas permits from Schuepbach Energy and Total because they were proposing to use hydraulic fracturing was constitutional or not .

      Think we’ll have a better idea of the way Europe is really heading with regards to energy after that .

      I can see a u-turn on the way .

    • stred
      Posted October 10, 2013 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      The French are violently against fracking, with campaigns in many villages near any likely site. If the UK succeeds in developing these resources, we may be bound to sell our gas to other countries which refuse to produce their own and the high price will be maintained. Perhaps we could introduce a ‘green’ regulation which restricted fracked gas to local use, if the EU gives us permission. Or, preferably, leave and look after our owb interests.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 10, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Well, French nuclear electricity is not just for local use; so maybe in return for the nuclear electricity we take from France because “green” opposition has prevented the construction of new nuclear plants here we could send them some of our shale gas because “green” opposition will prevent them extracting their own …

        • stred
          Posted October 10, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          Their construction costs for the new station, similar to the one we are about to order, have risen by 3.4x so we may have to pay them quite a bit more for nuclear in the future.

      • A different SImon
        Posted October 10, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Stred ,

        Poland have already encountered this issue and nation states are only obliged to release some of their production to the “single market” .

        I don’t think legislation is needed to reserve oil and gas for domestic use . Certainly not any time soon and before long the rest of Europe will be producing their unconventional hydrocarbons too .

        The early movers have anticipated this . Cuadrilla has licenses in the UK , Poland , Netherlands , Germany and Spain . BNK Petroleum licenses in Poland , Spain , Germany and applications in France . It’s better for them to establish production in as many locations as possible .

        The UK , the EU and Poland are all guilty of trying to carve the roast before they have cooked it . Until there is more exploration drilling and frac’ing we won’t know whether there is an industry there to regulate and milk .

        Why make a distinction between gas from frac’d wells and unfrac’d wells ?

        It strikes me as a completely artificial basis for distinction which can only serve to give the impression that hydraulic fracturing is the riskiest component of a shale well .

        Same with having an element of local taxation for frac’d wells but not for unfrac’d wells or any other type of mining industry except oil and gas . How soon before a local taxation element is added for coal seam gas or tungsten or phosphates ?

        French trade unions are strongly pro hydraulic fracturing as is French industry .

        UK trade unions and the elitist CBI are anti-frac’ing but the Institute of Directors is pro .

        Let’s see what France’s constitutional court has to say tomorrow about the legitimacy of license abrogations and the frac’ing ban .

  7. matthu
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    And now we read that the government is proposing that police or National Crime Agency (NCA) officers will be able to apply to the magistrates’ courts for a new Sexual Risk Order aimed at limiting the activities of individuals who they judge to be a risk but have not charged with an offence.

    A range of restrictions can be applied to individuals under the powers, such as limiting their internet use, stopping them from being alone with a child under 16 or preventing travel abroad.

    And so we move even closer to a police state.

    And I thought in another sense the Internet and access to fast broadband was now almost being viewed as a basic human right?

    • Horatio McSherry
      Posted October 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      “And so we move even closer to a police state.”.

      Don’t forget that on the (names an island Germany did not invade-ed) during the Second World War the police actively worked hand-in-hand with the occupying Germans, even to the extent of identifying and rounding up Jews and collaborators who were to be sent to concentration camps.

      There police are supposed to uphold the law, not make it. And, as we see even now the utter irrationality of police forces priorities – and the way they behave – the police are there to follow orders. And follow orders they will. No matter who’s giving them. It’s just so much better if they can write the orders in the first place.

      (Well that’s cheered me no end!)

      • Horatio McSherry
        Posted October 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Many apologies John. I have no idea why I wrote that particular place. Moment of insanity. I did of course mean the Channel Islands.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      Suspension of habeus corpus via the European arrest warrant , ASBO”s .

      We are rapidly moving towards a European style burden of proof falling on the defendant .

      Pretty soon you’ll be sentenced without knowing what crime you supposed to have committed and all your family will know is that you didn’t come home one evening . Just march them out back and a bullet in the head .

      How revealing that Europe eschews the UK’s more developed legal system in favour of the inferior alternatives to be found on the continental mainland .

  8. matthu
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    And today we learn that EU law is much more powerful even than human rights law (which may start to cause a few problems for the UK before too long. Think prisoners’ votes, for example, a requirement parliament has been able to ignore so far.)

    Apparently ‘the EU charter can be used to “disapply” – effectively, to overturn – an act of parliament. That’s the conclusion to be drawn from a recent decision of the employment appeal tribunal, as yet unpublished’ but discussed in The Guardian today.

    http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/oct/09/human-rights-eu-law-powerful

    I can almost visualise Theresa May choking on her cereal.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      As we are supposed to have an “opt-out” from that Charter I wait to see what happens on appeal.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 10, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Matthu ,

      More likely to be choking on a croissant .

      Even it is cereal it won’t be cornflakes or porridge , muesli maybe .

      What a disappointment she has turned out to be .

  9. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The Prime MInister has rightly been tackling the EU Commission over the excessive zeal for new regulations.

    Oh, PLEASE, just stop it! We are not stupid. We know there is nothing Cameron can do about the EU Commission’s zeal for regulation. Or more money. Or more waste. Or more daft energy legislation.

    There is NOTHING he can do. Stop trying to kid there is.

    • stred
      Posted October 10, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Talking of daft energy policy and following the latest price increase, the following prices for energy generated in Eupe and China are given in the Aug 2013 report by the Word Nuclear Association. The costs are in $ for KWe.

      Nuclear Power constuction costs.

      France. 1978 – $1444
      2000- 2781
      present- 4995 (Flamainville EDF)

      China. present- 2000
      future- 1600

      Cost comparison with other generation. (5% discount rate)

      Europe China
      Nuclear 5- 8.2 3- 3.6

      Coal with 8.5
      CCS

      Onshore 9.0- 14.6 5- 8.9
      Wind

      Offshore 13.8- 18.8
      Wind

      PV 28.7- 41

      It seems strange that we are about to opt for a Flamainville type reactor. The Chinese are the same as the US design the AP 1000.

      Also that the UK is going for maximum onshore and offshore with subsidies guaranteed for 25 years and payment for not producing as well as producing.

      And of the measures given as best value on EPCs, PV is top of the list.

      It makes you wonder about the competence of the civil servants at DECC who are negotiating and planning our future.

      • stred
        Posted October 10, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Your computer has moved my tabulated figures over.

  10. stred
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Here are some home grown regulations which I have come across recently and produced under Mr Cameron’s watch. Let’s make a list.

    Registration of all houses with more than 2 unrelated tenants. Councils charging a £500- 900 fee and requiring fire, sanitation and space minima for kitchens as well as management procedures with risk assessments etc. Average cost advised is £20k per house.

    Fines for landlords of thousands of pounds for getting immigration checks wrong. But Mrs May says there is a Home Office helpline to help with the documentation. Lets hope they know whether a tenant is illegal, having passed through their own border controls or overstayed. No doubt they will have valid documents.

    Anyone using a ladder has to have a ladder use training certificate. I was told that a Sky dish man had to drill holes in the house wall to tie his ladder to go up ten feet. Council inspectors currently roaming our streets looking for unlicensed ladders and scaffolding, for which a fee is due.

    All new upvc windows soon to be triple glazed, considerably increasing cost. This despite current double glazing being highly efficient and even then giving saving of only tens of pounds p.a., according to our compulsary and misleading EPC. The trade organisations are pleased, having ensured more turnover.

    Compulsary water meters, requiring equipment worth hundreds and an army of readers and costs passed to the customer.

    MOT tests to include engine management lights. These are difficult and expensive to fix and often give false readings. Often they become main dealer jobs as small garages do not have the equipment necessary. I was told my car required a new dash unit, but managed to fix it myself by changing the bulbs. A 20 minute job.

  11. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    The EU Commission derives most of its regulatory authority from the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties. It will continue to have this authority as long as we are signatories to these treaties.

  12. Winston Smith
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Some very good and informative comments on this thread, mostly contradicting John Redwood’s praise of Cameron for standing up to the EU. His silence tells us all we need to know about his loyalties: to the Party, not to the people.

  • 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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