“The European Union has been a remarkable achievement to which the UK has made a valued contribution”

credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

From: Trevor P Harvey

Sancroft Road

Edward Thomas (Letters, May 3 click here to read) is entitled to his views on Europe, but he weakens his case by repeating that simplistic canard that the Union is run by ‘unelected bureaucrats’.

In fact, the EU works to the same constitutional principles as the UK, most importantly the separation of powers between legislature, executive and judiciary.

The civil servants of the European Commission propose legislation that must be approved by ministers from the 28 member states, and by the Parliament to which we shall shortly be electing our own representatives.

The Commission is then responsible for implementing legislation, in co-operation with civil servants in the member states.

As in the UK, the actions of the legislature and executive can be challenged in court.

In Europe, that is the European Court of Justice and includes a judge from every EU nation.

Most importantly, the union is bound by the principle of subsidiarity.

This means that it does not act on matters which can be dealt with adequately by member states.

That is why the EU has no role in our national policies on health, education, policing and much else.

Its role is as facilitator of a single market, within which providers of goods and services compete on a level playing field.

This ensures the protection of consumer and worker rights, as well the environment.

In a world of dangerous international rivalries, my view is that the European Union has been a remarkable achievement to which the UK has made a valued contribution. I only wish that its principles and operation had been more widely known before the 2016 referendum.