Category Archives: EU
This week on Facebook: It would seem that the people of Wallonia determined what it was that made the world go around. At least for the EU, Canada, and a free trade deal. It was enlightening to see how the result of a democratic process that is not (necessarily) shared in other democracies could send the media into such a spin. When I wrote Free Trade — not so transparent I concluded that, Perhaps the lack of transparency in these Free Trade Agreements means very little if we assume the continuation of any discretionary income we may have, our ability to spend it where we will and its value of exchange is to our advantage. Read more of this post
“An opinion, in and of itself, cannot be criminal. Ever. Just as the law should not attack thought, it should also be slow to proscribe speech or expression simply because it is capable of causing offence. If you want to be able to say things that others don’t like or find challenging, you need to be willing to hear things that you don’t like”.
Der Spiegel reported in May 2010 that without bribes virtually no foreign company could do business in Greece. In How German Companies Bribed Their Way to Greek Deals, Der Speigel claimed that the money from bribery enriched industrialists, civil servants, the military and politicians. Read more of this post
‘UK laws and the EU – A myth?’ dealt with claims that EU Directives and EU Regulations were now responsible for a large percentage of UK law. Claims that have now become UK lore. Regardless of this, they must have some influence on UK trade and commerce.
An article with the title European Convention on Human Rights – 60 years old today notes that September 3rd marked 60 years since the European Convention on Human Rights (The Convention) came into force. That the UK government’s seemingly difficult relationship with The Convention and its five protocols has a certain irony, as many of the rights in it are indebted to English common law. Read more of this post
The sub-title ”The Western cult of happiness’ is a mirthless enterprise’, in the City Journal caught my attention; partly because the French author Pascal Bruckner belongs to a nation which, according to a Gallup Poll, are the world’s most gloomy, and partly because the UK government tried to measure the nations happiness. The French may indeed be ‘gloomy’ but that doesn’t necessarily make them ‘Les Misérables’. On the other hand the British may indeed be Les Misérables but not necessarily gloomy. Perhaps, both nations would regard the European national anthem ‘Ode to Joy’ , a paean to spiritual joy, as an allusion to some form of earthly happiness, now muted as being a goal of European social policy that requires political intervention. At least that’s one of the propositions put forward in the ‘First European Quality of Life Survey: Life Satisfaction, happiness and sense of belonging’. This would seem to give credence to Pascal Bruckner’s proposition that joy is no longer an option.
Historically the United Kingdom developed an ‘uncodified’ constitution – not a written constitution. Civil liberties remain dependent on ad hoc statutory protection or upon judicial protection under common law. The 1998 Human Rights Act (HRA) only invested the judiciary with the power to make a declaration of incompatibility with the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), The judiciary has no power to ‘make new law’. Parliamentary Sovereignty was maintained and a parliament only had a duty to ‘consider the findings of the judiciary’, being only bound by its international obligations through the ECHR. Read more of this post
A 2009 post ‘UK laws and the EU – A myth?’ included claims made that EU Directives and EU Regulations were now responsible for a large percentage of UK law. Daniel Hannan’s 84%, UKIP’s 75% and David Cameron’s 50%, have now become lore, despite the truth being that ‘no one really knows’. Nevertheless, they must have some influence on UK trade and commerce.
A recent press release by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) stated that only 12% of firms want to leave the EU altogether. While remaining a part of the EU, 47% wanted to negotiate a looser relationship and 26% want to maintain the status quo. The rules and regulations imposed by Brussels resulted in 35% responding that they outweighed the benefits of a the Single Market. Read more of this post