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.
4 thoughts on “The EU Fallacy”
Hi Bob, the vast majority of arguments that I see re: EU Law are not petty swipes at how “silly” or “unnecessary” they are, their issue is “Primacy” over Scottish Law & the finality of that, there is no way to remain in the EU if you refuse to comply with that Primacy. Your situation re: your transport business is only one story mate, one swallow does not a summer make, I could drown you with stories of an opposite nature of how ridiculous over-extreme regulations & directives have put many people out of business, especially the enforced rules on competition.
Can I also point out something else Bob, when referring to Laws, can I point out that when combating WM in implementing Laws (many of which were EU Directives) that we considered intrusive or oppressive, we haven’t faired too well, not surprising in a 56 v 591 voting impasse, but combating EU Law from within the EU is an even bigger impasse seeing as how the numbers stack up at 6 v 745. So there is no real voice in the EU, you are simply a subservient fee paying observer, that’s the reality of the situation Bob. Had your business been put in trouble or at serious risk, would you have been confident that your MEP would have been able to fight your corner with any kind of success whatsoever ??
Yes of course there is other examples of how laws do not benefit everyone and that is no different no matter where you are. The thing abut the EU as apposed to the Union we are in at the moment is that the EU is a voluntary trade organisation that we can leave at any time with the democratically expressed consent of the people ( we are in the process of doing that right now)Whereas the UK is a union we are having extreme difficulty in leaving at the present moment in fact if the pols in September 2014 were accurate, we are still in that union because of the democratic will of the people.The difference is of course that in the case of the EU, that organisation is so democratic that they at no time as an entity enterfeared in the internal decission making process of the country which was debating leaving wheras in our case the UK did in fact undemocraticly interfear in the decission making process of the country involved. It is for the very reasons you state that I am advocating another referendum in the early days of an independent Scotland when the arguments both ways an be put to the people outwith the heady atmosphere of an independence campaign
I am taking it that you are unaware of the new EU internal legislation that is currently proposed and going through the discussion process before possible formal proceedings. The proposal is that member states will not be allowed to leave unless approved by all 27 other members ? I’ll see if I can find the article and drop the link in here.