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Work in progress

2015-03-08 06:56:59

I've started a long piece, but haven't yet finished – so I'll have to post later. In the meantime, the Booker Column is here, here and here. Owing to a last-minute change required by the management, we didn't get a pic this week. However, one of the Booker stories covers a familiar theme:
I long ago learned that one of many aspects of our relationship with the EU that should only be approached warily is how much of our law now originates from Brussels. Latest into this minefield is Matthew Elliott’s campaigning group Business for Britain (BfB), which last week made headlines for claiming that its "definitive" study had shown that, between 1993 and 2014, no fewer than 64.7 per cent of our laws were made or "influenced" by the EU.

Among its many mistakes was the claim that during this time the EU produced 46,699 new laws, not realising that a huge number of these were shortlived and are no longer in force. As older hands at this game have been pointing out, the total number of EU laws currently in force is 22,398, many of which do not apply to Britain. But the complete number of laws of all kinds currently on the UK legal database is 75,820. As I have discussed here before, it is so hard to work out any meaningful percentage from these figures that all that can be fairly said about the matter is that a great deal of our law now comes to us via the EU but quite how much it is impossible to quantify.

Indeed, what BfB also missed is how much of that law now emanates from unaccountable global bodies above the EU, which we would still have to obey whether we were in the EU or not. So, although in propaganda terms, it might have seemed a good try, as one of the bodies angling to play a lead role in any future British referendum, BfB may need to develop a more sophisticated understanding of how this mighty legislative labyrinth actually works.
This is story which, I guess, is going to run and run.