I would caution readers not to accept all that Nigel Farage tells us about our “loss of sovereignty” in the EU debate. We are NOT dictated to by “those unelected bureaucrats” in Brussels. Perhaps a few words about the actual decision-making process in the EU would help.
1 The European Council consists of the government leaders of the 28 member states, so that includes our Prime Minister. It is not a legislative body, but it sets the EU’s policy agenda and priorities, and issues directives for actions to be taken by the Commission.
2 The Commission (Mr Farage’s “unelected bureaucrats”) does NOT have law-making powers. It is rather like our Civil Service. The Commission’s job is to respond to directives from the European Council, to produce proposals for the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament to consider. When proposals are approved, then it is the Commission’s job to implement them.
3 The Council of Ministers (now officially called the Council of the European Union) consists of Government Ministers from the 28 member states. It meets in 10 different groupings with the relevant ministers according to the subject being debated.
It rejects, amends or accepts the Commission’s proposals and so it passes laws.
4 The European Parliament consisting of 752 democratically elected MEPs rejects, amends or accepts proposals passed by the Council of Ministers.
Consent from both the Council of Ministers and the Parliament are required before a law is adopted, and they also have equal control over the EU budget.
We have to have joint decisions over regulations which govern how we operate within a Free Trade Area. Our neighbours have to compromise as well, and almost always the decisions made are very much to our benefit simply because we are at the table, negotiating (and even vetoing) for Britain. The tragic irony is that if we pull out, we will still have to comply with all the regulations if we are to trade with the EU, but without having a “seat at the table”. Brian Braby
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