What a farce the EU makes of our laws

 

This week Parliament has tried to sort out a serious legislative mess of the EU’s making. This is no way to run a serious country.  The European Court of Justice recently struck down a European Directive on Data Retention. This Directive, agreed to by the last Labour government, had been faithfully transposed into UK law. The ECJ left us not knowing what the law now is, as the UK’s enactment of EU law can itself now be challenged.

All three main parties rushed to agree a new Westminster law which they hope will now be compatible with EU law as redefined by the Court. There is, of course, no way of being sure it will do this. All the time the European Court is at war with the EU legislature we will live with an uncertain law. In addition, as the Home Secretary confirmed to me, the EU itself may have a go at new legislation, which would then require the UK to start all over again with its implementing legislation.

Civil liberty campaigners think the new law goes too far in allowing the authorities access to records of people’s phone calls and messages. The government  and Opposition point out the UK put more safeguards in our implementation of the EU law than they need do. The latest attempt to implement adds additional safeguards and requires new legislation in two years time, along with a major review.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the judgements made about how much we need to authorise to keep us safe, surely more people can agree this is not  the right way to legislate in a democracy. Parliament should decide these matters, not the EU and the ECJ. Parliamentary law could then be more consistent, and not subject to sudden reversal by a court, which just serves to undermine the law and make enforcement difficult if not impossible.

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69 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Indeed what people want is clear, simple, predictable laws and rapid outcomes for legal actions and a cheap simple single level legal process. The absurd multilevel, slow, uncertain legal system with battles between the EU, the ECHR and the UK gives the complete opposite. Great for overpaid parasitic lawyers but very damaging for business and everyone else.

    The current plan to just make the UK government supreme is better than nothing but nowhere near enough. We should just fully withdraw and UK judges and parliament should make all the decisions. Perhaps just taking into account the ECRH decision when they thing these judgement are sensible. It seems to me that the EU arrest warrant and the US system both act hugely against “human rights” anyway. At the very least they should have to present some real evidence and real benefits of the extradition, before any extradition can take place.

    Good to see that the government have finally abandoned the “bedroom tax” the poll tax II and just as foolish politically. Perhaps right in principle but it was always going to cost more than it actually saved in practical application. As Martin Lewis (of money saving expert fame) sensibly pointed out a while back. The smaller houses/flats are just not available only 4.5% have been able to more it seems.

    I still despairs at Cameron’s pathetic reshuffle – “A shabby days work which Cameron will live to regret” as Max Hastings put it. We need leadership and principle not shoddy electoral gimmicks (of either gender). Owen Patterson & Gove have to go, and yet will still have the green religion (word left out ed) Ed Davey in place following the similar (thinking ed) and criminal Chris Huhne.

    The main problems in the UK are due to incompetent and far too large government, the EU, too high taxes, and the pervasive “BBC think”/”Cameron think” of green crap, tax borrow and waste lefty lunacy, a poor justice system, lousy schools and a slow, uncertain and expensive legal system.

    Pathetic tinkering at the edges just for the election – few will be fooled.

  2. alan jutson,
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Not much more to add to your last paragraph, it seems to say it all really.

    With all of theses growing problems with the compatibility of EU law/policy/legislation with our own, do you feel that there are now more and more MP’s getting frustrated by it all John, or do they simply just accept it as part of the so called package.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Well the many Cameron types just go along with it, while pretending to have deck chairs on the Titanic distractions such as this pathetic ECHR PR pro woman distraction. Just get out completely and let the UK courts decide as they always used to. Quicker, cheaper, better and fewer lawyers as a bonus. We have at least 10 times the number that are actually needed for efficiency as Japan shows quite clearly alas we are following the USA disastrous approach.

      We need to create wealth, mainly with business & sales people, scientists and engineers. Get rid of the lawyers, tax specialists, bureaucrats, complex employments laws, tax laws, lower tax rates and all the rest and lets us generate some real wealth for a change.

      Three cheers for Philip Davies for telling the BBC DG that the BBC plan to promote ethnic minorities is racist as it very clearly is – of course Cameron’s silly women preferred agenda is hugely sexist too (and perhaps racist to in some cases). Their endless seeking out of female engineers and scientists on any news report is rather pathetic and childish too.

      Anthony William Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead yet another arty, Oxford PPE man said nothing sensible in response.

      • Hope
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        The only flaw with your point is that there would be no need for the EU arrest warrant which he is opting back in to. Is this another PR stunt?

  3. formula57
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    You point is sound of course but it does conflict with the curious arrangements they have in the United States of America that pass for a system of government where the judges of its Supreme Court operate a krytocracy. Who can but remember with dismay how they struck down Harry Truman’s nationalization of the steel industry and there have been many other examples. Many of the difficulties arise from them having a moribund, inflexible constitution, rather than a living, adapting one like us.

  4. Mark B
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    These are the rules of the Club to which successive Governments agreed to. If you do not like them, leave !

    This highlights, more than ever, that our Parliament is no longer sovereign, not that I, or indeed an increasing number of others, ever needed reminding.

    The fact that our Government in the UK cannot, and indeed will not, admit this, says even more.

    As for civil liberty groups and the like, they have few complaints. Many ‘pressure groups’ like the EU. Lots of funding and a good way to get to the heart of power throughout Europe without having to deal with difficult national governments.

    • Timaction
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      It wasn’t reported in the press like this. It was made to look like our own Parliaments decision.
      Westminster has become irrelevant and needs serious reform and transparency. The public need to know how the EU meddles in everything supported by the legacy parties.

      • Mark B
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        I confess that I do not watch much of the news output of the likes of the BBC. I just end up screaming at them. So inaccurate or downright misleading is their so called reporting.

  5. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    I’m sure that between them the eurosceptic Philip Hammond and the clever Lord Hill will sort this out, getting the EU treaties changed so that judgements of the ECJ become purely advisory and have no legal force. It was a small error on the part of Ted Heath not to have insisted on that before he signed us up to the Treaty of Rome in 1972.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Hammond and Hill with achieve virtually nothing it is just a pre election gimmick.

      Pressure groups, charities, bureaucrats, lawyers and the rest all love this absurd legal system all at everyone else’s expense.

      Our legal system is designed, in the interests of lawyers by lawyers, it should be run for the benefit of users as should the NHS and schools.

      Users want cheap, predictable, few court levels, honest, cheap, rational (from a game theory point of view) and to act in the genuine interest of users.

      Lawyers want arbitrary, random, slow expensive, endless claimants, contradictory and hugely complex systems, often unfair, restrictions on court representation, huge compensation for trivial matters etc. so that is exactly what we have got.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Denis–No legal force or no legal farce?

    • forthurst
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      “I’m sure that between them the eurosceptic Philip Hammond and the clever Lord Hill will sort this out”

      The use of figures of speech are contra-indicated on a blog patrolled by the literal minded. It’s a pity because because sometimes irony is a better way of making a point or even avoiding the red pencil.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 18, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        Yes, I’ve found that in the past; I suppose I should have said “What follows is meant ironically”, maybe that could be abbreviated to WFIMI.

  6. mick
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Shut the boarders, get rid of all illegals and extremist, that would be a good start to keeping this country safe

    • JoeSoap
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Not sure whether they were boarders or day boys but either way old Etonians are still in charge

    • Eddyh
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Do you mean “borders” or are you against residential schools?

  7. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    It is difficult. Having been in a position where E U law actually gave me a voice which UK law denied me , I find it difficult to be 100% critically adverse to this justice.
    The UK took action against me by what they had twisted , posited , scribed and escalated and attempted to act upon without even listening to the truth .The action by this corrupt set up gave me more faith with EU law when a representative used it to give me a hearing. Even then the powers that be got there own way by the omission of pertinent primary evidence and by their evidence which had been rewritten and edited . Who do we trust?
    Although I loathe the idea of giving more control to the EU, what do we do when our own system is so corrupt. Incidentally the problem occurred in a town which is highly supportive of the EU and I got the feeling it was political manoeuvring.

    • acorn
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Margaret, I will try a reply to you, but my last two attempts have failed moderation. This tells me (and some of our MEPs) more about our host than you might think.

      For a very high percentage of time, this EU / Council of Europe / ECHR thing is working quite well in favour of the little people in the UK. It is becoming clearer now; the Conservative Party is moving to the a “Neo – Con / US Tea Party ideology. In a few weeks, we will have enough evidence to be able to position the Conservative Party on the “North Korea Democracy Scale”.

      The PANIC Bill in parliament this week “Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill” Has a high North Korea score. It will fail every hurdle in the ECJ and the ECtHR. There is nothing so draconian anywhere else in the EU.

      Life outside the EU and the Council of Europe under a Conservative government will be a bit like that film “Logans Run”.

      Reply I do not post items which are potentially libellous or refer to unchecked sources. I will post this, which is so absurd as to be laughable. The legislation this week had the full approval of the Coalition and the Labour opposition. It was a little milder than the Labour government legislation it replaces, following a decision of the ECJ to strike down an EU Directive for being too unfriendly to civil liberties. How is that proof that Conservatives are like North Korea? Many Conservatives campaign for more civil liberties, and this government has removed some of the worst illiberal features of the last government’s law.

  8. Andyvan
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Cameron and chums have proved their commitment to spying on every man woman and child in the UK and collaborate with the NSA to expand that worldwide. I’m sure that commitment, together with the spineless acquiescence of parliament will overcome this minor legal hiccup.

    • Bazman
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      The use of none record keeping VPN’s using heavyweight encryption becomes more important and attractive as this mass surveillance gets more widespread.

  9. APL
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    JR: “This week Parliament has tried to sort out a serious legislative mess of the EU’s making.”

    Wrong first sentence.

    You and your 649 other colleagues are responsible for the mess. You all have carelessly/recklessly passed any and every piece of EU legislation into UK law, without let or hindrance.

    For once, lets call a spade a spade.

    You people in Parlaiment? Are all an expensive waste of space.

    Reply I voted against the Treaties that gave away these powers.

    • APL
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      JR: “I voted against the Treaties that gave away these powers. ”

      Your colleague Ken Clarke voted for them.

      Collectively you both ( with utterly opposing views on how the UK should be governed ) support the Tory Party.

      The party that for twenty two of the last thirty five years has been the government party, you supported.

      So long as you support the party that brought us to this pass, you are as guilty as anyone.

      • ian wragg
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        The party that still supports the EU despite some window dressing to the contrary. Given a free vote the majority of the LibLabCON would keep us in the EU as their detailed voting record demonstrates. Cameron is just trying to kick the subject into the long grass again but with the vast amount of information available to the public through the internet, jam tomorrow won’t suffice any more.

      • Posted July 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        It’s called democracy – if you don’t like it you can always leave.

        • APL
          Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          Handbags: “It’s called democracy ”

          Ha!

          I understand ‘democracy’ to mean government by the people. I’ve never understood democracy to be government by a self selecting clique, that then selects it’s candidates and imposes them on local constituencies.

          What you seem to understand as democracy, is actually the opposite of what I understand democracy to be.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted July 18, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

            It could be called “oligarchy with votes”.

          • Posted July 18, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            And yet people still vote for this ‘self selecting clique’ .

            Why do they do it? Are they all stupid, thick, plebs – or what?

          • APL
            Posted July 18, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

            Handbags: “Why do they do it?”

            Good question.

            Back in the day, down in the Valleys of South Wales, it was common place to say, ‘You could pin a rosette on a donkey and the people would still vote Labour’. That’s how we elected Neil Kinnock.

            But it occurs to me, ‘the party’ has been quite clever, they put forward the notion that there is a difference between the ‘the provisional IRA’ – AKA the Labour party, and ‘real IRA’ AKA the Tory party.

            The supporters of each faction hate each other so much that they are incapable of taking a step back and considering that maybe there isn’t any difference at all between the two wings of the Party.

  10. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you have a good point. It is impossible, as someone once remarked to serve two masters.
    So what can we do?
    Well at the moment the government is rudderless. The EU is most certainly not going to stop its rapid move to unification. Mr Juncker’s speech to the hemicycle recently underlined that.
    Reforming the EU is about as daft a notion as introducing marriage between old men and children.
    We need to leave the EU and to join the EEC and then negotiate hard to join EFTA.

  11. ian wragg
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    This is what happens when you sub contract legislation to an unelected, unaccountable corrupt entity. We elect Parliament to draft and enact laws, no one has ever been consulted on being ruled from Brussels.
    I see there is a proposal to be in your manifesto to make Westminster supreme regarding “umanrites” decisions. Must be an election due. Another proposal to be quietly dropped after the election.
    No one is fooled by the recent reshuffle which is no more than a poor PR exercise, it will do nothing to improve your chances at the GE. Lord Who!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Interesting language used by that Lord Hill who was said to be “eurosceptic”:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/10973293/David-Cameron-and-Jean-Claude-Juncker-greet-each-other-with-a-high-five.html

      “We have got to make sure that the people of Europe feel closer to the institutions of Europe … ”

      “The more jobs you create, the stronger you make the bond between the people and Europe, and the stronger you make the future of Europe.”

      “One should want to make reform in Europe if we want to make Europe stronger and make it better for the people of Europe.”

      Note that each time it is “the people”, singular, not “the peoples”, plural; and yet he has been proposed to become an EU Commissioner by Cameron, who said in his Bloomberg speech back in January 2013:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9820230/David-Camerons-EU-speech-in-full.html

      “There is not, in my view, a single European demos.”

      And therefore:

      “It is national parliaments, which are, and will remain, the true source of real democratic legitimacy and accountability in the EU.”

      So we have a Prime Minister who publicly proclaimed the “eurosceptic” view that there was no single European demos, and who proceeded from that to the conclusion that power must reside with the democratic national parliaments, but who has nonetheless now nominated somebody for the position of EU Commissioner who clearly does think in terms of there being a single European demos, and who uses language that could just as well have come out the mouths of the arch-federalists Juncker and Schulz – so is it any surprise that the latter now thinks he may be OK?

      • Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        When thinking about language though is it relevant to say that it was deliberately construed or naturally used ?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 18, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

          The Telegraph article presents those words as direct quotes from Lord Hill, of course they are far from infallible but then there were three occurrences of “the people”, singular.

  12. Old Albion
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The (dis)united Kingdom is a servile state of the EU(ssr). Westminster is nothing but an EU puppet gov. There is only one solution to this which is withdrawal.
    Sadly the Lib/Lab/Con are wedded to the EU. Remember this when you vote next year.

  13. David Hope
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I do agree that it is not for the ECJ to decide our laws and continually reinterpret law to fit their current politics.

    That said, I would be keen on a UK bill of rights enforced by UK courts at the present time. I feel that parliament has become over mighty and is not representing citizens and thus other protections are needed. The leading parties are in thrall to the police and security services (whenever these say we want x or y the parties leaders just say we are giving them this cause they said they need it) and the majority of MPs are unwilling to challenge their leadership whether it be on the EAW, raiding bank accounts, detention for long periods or reading everyone’s mail, net and call history without a warrant.

  14. sm
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I’m as eager as anyone to get out of the EU, but haven’t British courts subverted and questioned UK laws?

  15. Douglas Carter
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    …’Parliament should decide these matters’…

    Unfortunately, Parliament has decided it doesn’t want to decide these matters. By fact of Treaty obligation.

    The fault is in Westminster and cannot be blamed on the EU.

    Personally, I became fairly convinced around eighteen months ago that the UK would in fact withdraw from the EU. I think it’s unlikely by means of referendum or specific act of endorsement of a political party by the electorate. I’d observe that the incoherent game-playing and obfuscation of British Governments in trying to misdirect public understanding of the EU will eventually bring us to an unsustainable stand-off with the EU which cannot be broached. We’ll eject ourselves inadvertently rather than it being a controlled predictable process.

    Juncker may believe it’s acceptable to lie to electorates, but any sentient electorate knows full well they’re habitually misled in any instance. What’s worrying in the British sense is that the cultural norm of Westminster Governments is to hide behind ambiguity. On some things at least – say, mid-1980’s – there was political clarity. You didn’t need to agree with any particular side, but you knew where they stood and by that means you could contrive your own political standpoint. That gave way to ‘constructive ambiguity’ leading to actual ambiguity in the Blair years.

    When Brown became Prime Minister eventually, up to that point, we knew precisely two opinions he held:- Poverty was ‘bad’, and ‘there were too many starving Africans’. The aggressive ambiguity he constructed – it became clear – was a fig leaf for a programme which was almost wholly vacant. Bereft. The classic case of the Emperor’s clothes.

    However, we have a Parliamentary process under which that is possible. As it is to ride two legal processes simultaneously whilst successive Governments refuse to publically provide coherent resolutions to the very many anomalies raised. Currently we’re at ‘convenient ambiguity’ and it’s all too possible to speculate that same ambiguity conceals confusion and actual political paralysis.

    When we eventually leave the EU, it will only be the start of a process in which Westminster culture must be reformed into a body which is divested of the ability to create its own legislative prison cell. A body which is compelled to re-learn the process of giving proper answers to pertinent questions.

    If Westminster can be led to that place, it will never be able to enmesh us in such a disastrous body as the EU ever again.

  16. Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    In his speech to the so-called “European parliament” the other day Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his dissatisfaction with European leaders who agree to certain things and then complain about them when they get back to their capitals.

    I think he has a point. The UK has previously agreed to abide by these foreign courts and other powers are regularly transferred abroad as previous agreements are enacted.

    It looks as if we are about to agree to the terms of the “European Arrest Warrant”.

    We are the turkeys voting for Christmas.

  17. mick
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Off topic Mr Redwood, i`ve just been listening to Mr Clegg doing his pre election speech on LBC and i`m amassed how you can sit on the same side of him or his MP`s, what is needed is Mr Cameron to end the collision with the lib/dem`s and call a G.E as soon as possible

  18. Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I wonder how many of those who complain about privacy have FaceBook accounts, use Twitter, etc and spend all the time telling the world what they are up to, complete with pictures. The detail that some of the people that I know put on the internet about themselves and what they are doing is beyond belief!
    Even if you make minimal use of your various on-line accounts, I still believe that the data routinely held by Google, etc is far more than the government will hold except in the case of particular suspects.
    To me, security against terrorism is my main concern.

  19. Alte Fritz
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    We had a clear system which could clearly be unfair. Unfairness had to be unravelled by Parliament. We still have an unfair system which is unclear. Problems may be unravelled by committee. This was all foreseeable and foreseen.

  20. Pete
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    John, I know that you’ve written before about why you support parliamentary whips, but as a constituent I feel that any law that gets steamrollered through under a three-line whip is inherently suspicious. I feel that all the MPs in the house should be obliged to read and understand the bill that they are voting on, and their vote should reflect what they feel is best for their constituents. If the new Data Retention act had passed under these circumstances, then it would have some legitimacy. Your job is to represent me, and when your superiors take away your power, then it also takes away mine.

    Reply I have set out my approach to this muddle under local pages, Data Retention Bill.

  21. Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Some useful figures on control.

    Size of Cabinet:
    Sep. 1939 – 9
    Aug. 1940 – 16
    Feb. 1942 – 7
    Feb. 1982 – 6
    Jun. 2014 – 22 ( plus 11 attendees)

    John Wrake.

    • Bryan
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      I love the story of The Duke of Wellington who when asked how his first Cabinet Meeting had gone replied ‘well I gave them their orders and was surprised when some of them wished to remain and discuss them..’

      Or words to that effect.

      A meeting of 22 plus 11 or more attendees? Never works except as a briefing mechanism.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Not forgetting all those Junior Ministers.

      When you add them up, that gives the government a head start in any vote. Plus those wanting to get on the gravy train, or can be easily persuaded.

      All completely unnecessary of course, since the EU does most of the work.

    • APL
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      John Wrake: “Size of Cabinet:”

      For reference, include the number of people governed.

      1939 – The UK still governed the British Empire.

      2014 – The UK is governed by the Bruxberg Empire.

  22. Martin
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    In any country with a written constitution (or even laws) interpreted by the courts that is the game we all play.

    This would be the case if we left the EU.

    For example in UK law the Sovereign must not be a Roman Catholic. If the UK courts decided the monarch was really a Catholic then would the laws the sovereign had recently signed be valid?

    It was a great pity when the original directive was passed and member states voted it through that none of them bothered think about the basic rights.

    This whole DRIP law is a typical piece of tax and spend law. The UK press have a blind spot about tax and spend when law and order are involved. Did anybody ask Mrs May if this DRIP was worth spending taxes on?

  23. JoeSoap
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Had the promised referendum at the time of the Lisbon treaty been delivered this might all be water under the bridge by now.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Correct.

      If we had been asked and we had said that we did not want the UK to be bound by the package of EU treaty amendments in the Lisbon Treaty, then whether or not it had already come into force the government would have been compelled to do at that time what Cameron is now promising he would do some time after 2015, namely embark on a renegotiation.

  24. Atlas
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    John, what you describe is exactly the reason we should be leaving. The cost of being in this “club” is far too high.

  25. acorn
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    It was the British government who created the farce and your mob has had four years to sort it and it hasn’t.

    Unlike other EU states, the British government has never bothered to bring in a law based on the directive 2006/24/EC. British data retention law instead has existed on the basis of a ministerial order that directly transposed the directive. (Irish Times)

    Now the court has declared in strong terms, the existing directive was unlawful, Britain’s legislation ceased to have any legal basis because it was in essence, only the directive and nothing but the directive. British data retention law instead has only existed on the basis of a “ministerial order” that directly transposed the directive.

    The UK has no grounds on which to retain data, a serious problem for law enforcement which has no proper legal basis to ask for call data held by telecommunications operators, even within the six months allowed by data protection laws. Hence this weeks Punch and Judy parliament PANIC Bill.

    Yet again JR you blaming the EU for what invariably turns out to be yet another, home grown, British problem.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      There are many other cases where EU Directives are implemented by secondary legislation, which are just as much law as primary legislation.

      However delving further into some of the details I find that the Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009:

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/859/introduction/made

      relied on the powers granted to ministers through Section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 to enable them to implement EU obligations, and as in this case the EU obligation has now been struck down by the ECJ presumably that is no longer an adequate legal base.

      But I also note in this Irish Times article:

      http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/technology/uk-data-law-is-good-news-for-ireland-s-tech-sector-1.1868579

      that even in countries where the Directive was implemented through primary legislation those laws are vulnerable to challenge in national courts:

      “Other EU states had brought in, or modified, specific national data retention laws, which transposed the directive but also had distinct national elements. All of these national laws, including Ireland’s, can now be challenged within national courts on the grounds they are largely based on an unlawful directive.”

      It would obviously be better if so many EU measures were not slipped through Parliament by secondary legislation with little debate, but it seems to me that in this case even if it had been done by primary legislation that law would still now be vulnerable to challenge in this country as elsewhere.

  26. ian
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Germany leaving eu going east, join bric countries to go back to the gold standard. Had what it could get out of eurozone time to move on. Oh what Great leadership.President obama must be the worst president the usa has ever had. Germany just waiting for the world economy implode and then she will make her move. Eu countries only joined eu because they thought they would be half german, what fools. Are lot a bridge to nowhere under supervision from the usa. They must be the worst chess players in the world. All are lot are good for is sitting around talking shop, while the usa gives the orders and eu gives the instructions. What would you give for a really leader, someone with intelligent and politician who have brains. Good luck to germany.

  27. ian
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Good old m. gove give them some more i love it

  28. Bryan
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Mr Cameron should dissolve the Coalition forthwith, rule as a minority government, and tell the LibDems to oppose necessary legislation in public.

    Then we could cancel some of these proposed off shore wind farms.

    Watching the Open golf on BBC this morning we viewers were given the magnificent sight of 14 of these windmilling beauties, only 5 of which were working! Ah, not enough wind! Didn’t they think that this may happen?

    Who said ‘green crap’? and is he in a position to do something about it?

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      ” … and is he in a position to do something about it?”

      No! He is only the Prime Minister.

  29. ian
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    The pole tax was a visionary policy to begin in back in the eighties. Now you have 6 to 15 immigrants a house, are councils would of had lots of money to pay for schools police roads hospitals and the rest. Saved yourself a fiver costs yourself billions that what i like about this country thick

  30. ian
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    USA trying to play chess again today

  31. Max Dunbar
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Yes the whole thing appears to be a mess. Let’s get out of the EU and ECHR and while we are at it amalgamate Scots and English law (and re-instate the laws of treason) which also lead to unnecessary confusion and inflexibility.
    Some people may argue that as the calibre of law makers is so low, and the Scottish Parliament is an example of this, that it makes little difference whether it’s the EU or anyone else who creates them and muddles them up.

  32. Bazman
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    How many of you even understand internet security, net neutrality and VPN’s? Should I be prosecuted for downloading films and music from non official sources? Many of you will be using zombie computers sending spam and e-mails without any knowledge that you are doing so and why should anyone not be spied on? If you are not doing anything then what do you have to fear? If you are arrested then it will all be just a mistake won’t it, as conservative law abiding citizens with nothing to hide? Civil liberty campaigners are like busybody elf and safety campaigners but are against the EU putting in place more surveillance? What a spin we must be in.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 18, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      If you are downoading films and music for free you are cheating the hard working artists out of their wages Baz.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 19, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        You read the Daily mail to much. Certainly has helped a lot in their careers. The music industry have had their finger in the dyke since the cassette tape and they are still talking about ‘silver bullets’ and ‘wiping out piracy’ instead of embracing this new technology they try to stop it. Maybe people will just stop making music and films Edward2!? Are you saying it should be stopped and if so how?

        • Edward2
          Posted July 19, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          Pirate sites that copy illegally and disribute the book, film or music, cheat the authors and musicians and actors out of money they are due for their work.
          These criminal sites earn money for themselves and take it from those who deserve it and so reduce the ability of artists to produce more films books and music.

          It is theft just the same if you or I went into a shop and walked out with a CD a book or a DVD without paying.

          Im surprised you condone it.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            If I had my car stolen and it was still there how would it be stealing?! You assume the person downloading would have bought the product too. Lots of variables here.
            The main point is though how do you propose to stop this as this is the stance you believe is right. There are any number of file sharing sites.Teenagers are to make donations to the music industry if they do not have to? They just download and spend their money on well..popcorn! I personally should be paid to watch some of this drivel. You however just pay do you?
            The rest of the world is to pay western prices? Right you are!

          • Edward2
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            What you are supporting is illegal
            It is quite simple
            You know its illegal,I know its illegal.
            And most importantly those who created the art are being denied payment for their labour.

          • APL
            Posted July 20, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            Bazman: “If I had my car stolen and it was still there how would it be stealing?! ”

            If it’s still there, how has it been stolen?

            If when your back is turned, your neighbour gets in your car and drives it around town, but later puts it back exactly where it was.

            Did he steal your car? He certainly took it without your permission.

            I think your problem is, being a Socialist, you refute the concept of private property (other than your own).

            If you download *without express permission* of the owner/author of the musical work, then you are stealing the work*. Perhaps even you can see that you are at least using it without permission?

            * at least depriving the rightful owner/author the revenue that he would otherwise obtain from the sale or loan of the work.

            And for the download of a track of music – we’re talking about a matter of pennies. Why wouldn’t you pay the owner a few pence to enjoy his work / music?

          • Bazman
            Posted July 20, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

            The legality is a grey area with different laws applicable in different countries how these laws are to be enforced and whether they should be is a big question and if a law cannot be enforced then it is an ass.
            You assume the producer is being deprived of revenue as the downloader would have paid anyway. Not true as often they are only watched or listened to as they can be downloaded for free. You seriously think some of this=content should be paid for before watching!? LOL! Also downloaders are also uploaders and tend to be larger consumers of purchased content.Try and buy as I do.
            Uploads and downloads grow ever faster with my connection able to down load at speeds of over 125Mpbs soon to exceed 150Mpbs and upload speeds of 15+Mpbs which in years to come will seem laughably slow with other unimagined methods of data transfer. Finger in the dyke as I have said.
            My main point is how do you propose to enforce your deluded squeaky clean industry views on the internet? Interesting to read your reply if you have one that is. My experience is that for many they turn a lack of technological ability into a moral issue. You do not know how to download content do you? Ask any teenager who will no doubt be an old hand at it Grandad.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 20, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

            You assume the author is being deprived of revenue.The user would have bought it anyway you are saying. Really? The car one stands as the car has been replicated not used. Nothing is lost. As technology advances how do you propose to stop this if indeed it should be stopped in interconnected world? This being a fundamental point that you fail to mention.

    • APL
      Posted July 20, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Bazman: “understand internet security, net neutrality and VPN’s?”

      I can understand why you’d bracket internet security and VPNs together, but ‘net neutrality’?

      Bazman: “Many of you will be using zombie computers sending spam and e-mails without any knowledge that you are doing so and why should anyone not be spied on?”

      What does the first clause have to do with the second?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
    Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU
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