BREXIT: Less influence if we leave

Richard Spotwood complains that the EU is undemocratic, (Northumberland Gazette, March 1).

Thursday, 29th March 2018, 10:13 am
Updated Thursday, 29th March 2018, 10:15 am

He says that he has had no opportunity to vote for Jean Claude Juncker. Indeed, he has not because Juncker is head of the EU civil service and, as in this country, we do not vote for the civil servants we employ.

Juncker does not have a vote and can only do as the EU Parliament and Council of Ministers instruct him.

The Council of Ministers comprises the Prime Minsters or similar of each EU nation, including Theresa May. Any changes to EU legislation have to be approved by them, as well as by the European Parliament.

On many matters we have a veto, although on minor issues there may be a majority vote. No substantial legislation can be passed by the EU unless our Prime Minster has accepted it. It is not true that the EU can force legislation upon us.

Figures show that only 12.9 per cent of UK law starts from the EU, not 80 per cent, as Mr Spotwood claims. All of it is legislation we have agreed to, and some is passed by the EU at our request. An example is the fruit and veg classification system – the so called straight banana rules, which we suggested.

Mr Spotwood says that Juncker wants a Federal Europe, although he has denied that. Not only would we have a veto on that, but it is the kind of constitutional change that would require a referendum in many nations. It is nonsense to suggest that the EU could force that upon us against our will.

Of course, if we leave the EU then we lose that veto and any say in the laws adopted by the EU, although, as the Prime Minister said, we will still have to comply with many of those laws if we want to continue to trade with our biggest overseas market.

Take back control? I think not. Leaving the EU will leave Britain with much less control and influence than it has now.

Peter Fuller,