Some critics on the site claim that I along with other MPs fail to point out that many policies which miscarry or do damage are required by EU regulations and directives. I find this a most curious criticism when I spend a lot of my time pointing to the EU underpinnings of the way we are currently governed.
It is clearly true that EU requirements limit any UK government’s ability to control our borders and to limit migration from other EU countries. It is self evidently the case the Labour’s dear energy policy based on windfarms , the closures of cheaper generating capacity and high taxation of “carbon” was embedded into EU law during the last decade which now gets in the way of the UK following a cheap energy policy. It is also true that the Environment Agency have used various pieces of EU legislation as a reason for their policy of retreat from protecting rural areas from flood. The fact that the Dutch have behaved differently under the same laws implies the EA’ s interpretation of these laws is not the only one.
It is not the case that EU law requires the government to build HS2, though there is a “European network” of fast trains with lines on the English map as well. It is disputed the extent to which European law prevents us from having the benefit system of our choice, and the extent to which the EU makes us keep terrorists here under the articles of the European Convention of Human Rights.
What is certainly true is that the tentacles of the EU now stretch into many parts of government. It is possible for people to erect a case against any particular course of action in any given field based on EU law. Even well intentioned policies that are thought to lie outside EU prohibition or influence may be turned by the European Court into EU matters. Modern Ministers have nothing like the power of their predecessors, because they are constantly having to see if what they want to do is compatible with EU rules. It is not a great way to govern a great country.
Ministers should have more freedom of choice, and the electorate should decide whether they have exercised that power well or not. The trouble with so much bureaucratic power in the EU is that electors feel more and more impotent to change things. Voters may disagree with what is being done in their name. They cannot kick out the officials who designed the EU legislation. Any given country is unable to force change in laws we do not like. It is a very undemocratic model.