Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
A constant refrain of the out campaigners seems to be the EU’s red tape and how Europe interferes with British law. On occasion they go on to say the UK has been taken to court 23 times for failing to implement EU legislation. It’s interesting to note that they never expand much on the concept.
The truth is most member states have been taken to court for various reasons. When the Spanish government allowed banks to sell dodgy financial products and the Spanish courts didn’t protect Spanish consumers- the EU courts were the only recourse. This past month it was the EU court who said that Spain’s fast-track-eviction law had been abused by a number of banks who wanted to increase their profits.
When Italy was allowing the refuse of the Lazio landfill to go untreated creating a verifiable hazard to human life, it was the EU who had to step in. When Germany failed to create legislation curtailing water pollution by fertilizers, it was the EU who had to step in. When the UK failed to protect its citizens by not implementing air pollution controls, it was the EU who stepped in. And when France singled out Roma gypsies for deportation a few years ago, it was the EU who stepped in.
What we see again and again are national governments embracing agendas that are not in the best interest of their citizens. Before the EU we had nowhere to go, no one to turn to- no recourse. An independent third party arbitrator guarantees at least a chance of fairness. So the next time you see the Brexit cartoon above, ask yourself what that judge might have been doing that got him handcuffed?
I mean really- was he *handcuffed* by the statutory right to a paid holiday? The EU legal limit on the number of hours employees can be required to work? Or did he have a problem with EU laws that prevent employers discriminating against workers who are disabled? If there are people in our countries who believe those are constraints and intolerable meddling in sovereignty we should be asking ourselves what they envision for the future?