Nearly 65% of all new laws passed in the United Kingdom emanate from the EU, according to a comprehensive report issued by the independent organisation Business for Britain.
The vast majority of these laws enter Britain’s statute books without any scrutiny at all by MPs.
Only the Commission is able to propose new legislation in the European Union. Yet none of the Commissioners is elected by voters. This causes many to consider them unelected and unaccountable.
Nigel Farage MEP commented: “The means by which the European Commission makes law and holds law is actually the very enemy of the concept of democracy itself, because it means in any member state there is nothing the electorate can do to change a single piece of European law.”
Since 1993 that equates to around 50,000 new regulations affecting people and businesses in the UK. The source of these new laws is the European Commission.
Unelected and unaccountable
The European Commission, which employs over 33,000 staff, consists of 28 Commissioners, one nominated by each Member State. Each Commissioner is given a responsibility in particular policy areas and is responsible for drawing up new legislation.
Many Commissioners, who wield considerable power and influence, are regarded as failed politicians in their home countries or barely recognised. Britain’s Commissioner, Lord Hill, who has a junior role overseeing financial services and capital markets, is barely known in the UK outside political circles. His British predecessors include Peter Mandelson, who was appointed a Commissioner after having twice resigned as a Cabinet Minister, and Chris Patten, who was appointed a few years after being thrown out as an MP by voters at a general election.
Contempt for voters
The President of the Commission, who is therefore one of the most powerful people in the EU, is Jean- Claude Juncker, a former prime minister of Luxemburg.
Mr Juncker’s lack of respect for voters was demonstrated when commenting on the French referendum on the introduction of an EU Constitution:
“If it’s a Yes, we will say ‘on we go’, and if it’s a No we will say ‘we continue’.”
In May 2016 he criticised elected politicians for listening to their voters:
“Too many politicians are listening exclusively to their national opinion. And if you are listening to your national opinion you are not developing what should be a common European sense and a feeling of the need to put together efforts. We have too many part-time Europeans.”
One of the reasons the leaders of big businesses are predominantly supporters of the EU is the influence they can have on law-making. It is estimated that over 30,000 lobbyists are operating in Brussels, and that they influence up to 75% of EU legislation. Only in the USA are there more lobbyists.
In a report by Civitas, which raised questions about the transparency and oversight of lobbying in Brussels, it was stated:
“In Brussels today there is a diverse collection of sectors and industries … all working to ensure that EU institutions pass legislation in their interests and to prevent them from approving laws counter to their interests.”
What do they know?
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson summed up the problem of government by the Commission as follows:
“Only 4 per cent of people running the Commission are UK nationals, when Britain contains 12 per cent of the EU population. It is not clear why the Commission should be best placed to know the needs of UK business and industry, rather than the myriad officials at UK Trade & Investment or the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.”
Dr Chris Leigh of the Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University has debunked claims that science in the UK would suffer if the country leaves the EU. He pointed to the fact that only about 3% of funding for research at UK universities comes from the EU, through its Horizon 2020 programme. By contrast, about 45% comes from business and 35% from UK government and not- for-profit sources.
13 non-EU countries take part in the Horizon 2020 programme and there would be no reason why the UK could not continue to participate. Alternatively the British government could meet any shortfall in funding directly from the savings that will be made by not paying into the EU.
Strong Scientific Standing
The UK has 0.9% of the world’s population, but 3.3% of its scientists, who produce 6.9% of the world’s scientific output and 15.1% of the most highly cited papers. Those who argue UK science will suffer ignore the reality of the UK’s strong scientific standing.
[Ed: This material is from the UKIP Surrey’s “Brexit” Newspaper, reproduced with permission]