I feel that there has been undue delay in addressing the issues we lost the last independence referendum on and up to now I really could not see the logic in it, as it is not possible to be too prepared. However last weekend at events in and surrounding the SNP conference it would seem that the emphasis of the SNP would seem to be for keeping Scotland in the EU at the same time as keeping us in the UK. Perhaps the logic is becoming clearer now.
However, in the faint hope that I am wrong and also realising that I have been banging on about the need to address the mistakes we made during the referendum campaign in 2013- 2014. There is another issue we must now face and assuming there is still a slim chance of going for another referendum, there is another issue that we must address and that is the fact that there were quite a few people who voted Yes in our referendum and actually voted no in the EU referendum.
I keep hearing that people believe that the EU is not democratic and the laws they bring in are unnecessary and in some cases silly. We need to address these misconceptions and as usual the SNP do not seem to be doing anything about it.
By way of shedding some light on this I would like to recount a personal experience I have had through business and in connection with the law making process in the EU, so here goes.
Now I am in the transport industry, I have a coach company. We rely, to a great deal on part time drivers to cover busy times and things like school contracts.
Some time ago the EU decided that there were potential safety issues in both the coach industry and the haulage industry and they decided to attempt to address this situation.
The way they did this was to introduce a driver qualification called the CPC (certificate of professional competence) This was to be paid for by the drivers themselves and without it they could not drive as a profession. (we paid for all our drivers to go through this process) The upshot of this legislation is that it has taken a large percentage of drivers out of the market and made it very difficult for some companies to operate. Bloody EU are the first words that come to mind,
The reality of the situation is not quite what it seems however and here is why.
The first move in any proposed legislation is to hand the project to one of the 28 commissioners (one for each country in the EU) It is their job to investigate proposed legislation and report back to the parliament (there is not a single law made by any commissioner as commonly supposed)
The first step is to put the matter out to consultation and this is more often or not where the problem arises and it is because the various trade organisations and in deed the general public do nothing about it which means that the commissioners have to bring in their own “experts” who may or may not be up to the problems envisaged, as the actual trade organisations involved in the issue.
Now that is exactly what happened here as the Freight Transport Association and the Bus and Coach Council did very little to assist or object to the proposed legislation so we finished up with a dog’s breakfast initially with things like the five-day course made up of a possible five of the same, day course on a forklift, for drivers of coaches. That has now been addressed but again because of the ongoing ability to change legislation that is not doing what it is supposed to do.
During the run up to this legislation being put into place the EU through the commissioner was constantly asking for suggestions as to how this would work and the general attitude in the industry was “we don’t want this legislation so why should we help them to draft it” Well the result is that we now have a shortage of drivers in the industry but it wasn’t the fault of the EU but the fault of the industry for not realising the modern inclusive nature of the law making procedure of the EU.
I suspect that similar scenarios play themselves out in the process of the EU getting the blame for “bad legislation”
There is not a single law passed by any commissioner, they are merely the head of a department for suggesting new legislation or keeping present legislation up to date.
When a commissioner suggests a change or new legislation it first has to go the individual parliaments of the 28 country members and only after it as passed that hurdle is it put before the EU parliament for consideration.
There is no doubt that like every large organisation (and they do not come much larger than the EU) there are problems but there is also systems in place to address these problems.
I am of the opinion that we should be going for independence with a promises from all the parties that in the event of Scotland becoming independent, hopefully with a seamless transition in to the EU, that there would, within the first year, be a referendum on continued membership. That way we get independence with every one entitled to a say afterwards.