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Samizdata quote of the day

As the Daily Telegraph said on Tuesday – the government has got things the wrong way round on European Union regulations.

The position should be that all E.U. regulations on our domestic (internal) life are void when we leave the E.U. – unless it can be shown that a specific regulation serves a useful purpose (I would be very hard to convince on that point).

Sadly the government is saying “we will incorporate all the regulations into British law – and then decide which regulations we want to repeal later”.

That is the wrong way round – the burden of proof should be the other way round.

Paul Marks

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25 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    Paul Marks is correct.

  • Mr Ed

    Paul,

    That is a lamentable level of debate. You should be able to start an argument in an empty room, perhaps warning against Plato, Diocletian, Sir Francis Bacon, various Popes, Colbert, Frederick the Great, Bentham, any Wilson (Woodrow or Harold), the Economist, Haig, Russia Today and an obscure 19th-Century German socialist.

  • Sigivald

    Morally, absolutely.

    Practically, there’s a lot to be said for not instantly greatly changing an absolutely immense framework, in terms of people’s daily personal and business lives, especially with a “and they might come back later if we decide they’re good ideas” subclause built in.

    Perhaps a compromise of “every EU regulation to sunset in a year post-exit unless Parliament can be convinced they’re good ideas”, with the ability of Parliament (or whatever body is most appropriate to British governance and liberty) to give a “yes/no” before that period as it desires?

    (Combine that with, say, a same-year-period enforcement holiday for any penalties for any regulations set to sunset, and that seems to maximally compromise for both stability and liberty…)

  • Derek Buxton

    And you would accept the Parliaments idea? They got us into this mess in the first place and over time have made things even worse. The big failure of our so called democratic system, is that Parliament are tied to the PM of the day and what he says goes. They should instead be holding the executive to account, something which they never do. All the MPs want is an easy life and a good job!

  • Mr Ecks

    “All the MPs want is an easy life and a good job!”

    Just as well since the above balances the fact that they are mainly a bunch of traitors and cucks.

  • The second Act of the newly independent Irish Parliament in 1922 did exactly this, adopting all the legislation from the Westminster parliament as Irish national law. To have done anything else would have left an impossible legal vacuum and have taken far too long to sort out. Amendments, repeals and replacements could then be enacted as required.

    There are some parts of the EU acquis which should be excluded from the start such as the Common Fishery Policy and things associated with the developing EU legal system, such as membership of Europol and the European Arrest Warrant. There are probably more.

  • TimR

    So I’ll remove the cause, but not the symptoms.

    Frankenfurter, The Rocky Horror Show

  • It would be wise if parliament’s incorporating law automatically sunsetted, two years hence, every copy-of-EU-law that had not been specifically voted on to be retained during that interval. The words ‘wise’ and ‘parliament’ do not often appear together in the same sentence – but at least this idea is AFAICS occurring to many in the UK.

  • JS

    I agree that the default should be deletion after a set, relatively short, period. Otherwise it would be far too easy to let bad laws remain.
    If someone actually has to stand up and make a fool of themselves trying to make a positive case for a bad law to prevent its otherwise automatic repeal they will have to think hard about whether it’s worth it. There also won’t be time to keep too many contentious laws (uncontentious ones would probably be adopted quickly) so there will have to be a concentration on the more useful ones.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    You can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.

    Democratic Brexit can get the UK out of the EU’s oppressive over-regulation but democratic Brexit can’t get the oppressive over-regulation out of the UK.

    Brexit was according to virtually all of those who voted for it supposed to be a transfer of power but transfers of power are hardly ever not bloody and you can’t transfer power between two components of the same global government. Yes, I realize that the UK’s government is not legally part of the EU supranational political structure, but with a little imagination we can come to realize how de facto truths render de jure truths entirely irrelevant.

    The UK’s government has transformed itself (insofar as has been necessary – it’s arguable that it was largely already in proper de facto form in June 2016) since 23 June 2016 into an apparatus that can simultaneously de jure obey the “will of the people” and de facto maintain the governance the EU has previously imposed. Well, to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

  • PeterT

    Over time a lot of law becomes irrelevant due to societal and technological change, so removing the cause without the immediate symptom is still likely to be beneficial.

    Realistically the best that can be hoped for is that amending/removing the laws is delegated to some subcommittees and that the work actually does proceed.

    I’m not sure why we are transferring the entire body of EU law into UK law, rather than just the rather smaller single market law. That would seem a more natural starting point to me.

  • Well, to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

    Oh wow, you don’t get it at all. This is just the start of a process, not the end point. Brexit was the strategic victory that now makes tactical victories possible. It will now be feasible to unwind former EU regulation that still remains via a political victory in Westminster, not Brussels (i.e. without the acquiescence of 27 other national government).

  • I’m with Perry de Havilland (London) (March 31, 2017 at 2:27 pm): Brexit removes power and probability from bad outcomes and gives it to good outcomes. It does not guarantee that the bad won’t happen or the good will, but the odds are now more in our favour. Just as the UK of today, with its hate speech laws and its resurgent anti-Semitism and, and and, … is unlike where we were twenty years ago, so Brexit creates at least the possibility of the UK twenty years hence being unlike where it seemed headed before we won and if we’d lost.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    It will now be feasible to unwind former EU regulation that still remains via a political victory in Westminster, not Brussels (i.e. without the acquiescence of 27 other national government).

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    And even if a few former EU regulations are gotten rid of, how many others will have sprouted fresh in Westminster in the meantime.

    Best of luck getting oppressive regulations out of the UK, I’m not holding my breath.

  • Paul Marks

    Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke in Dr Bonham’s case (and others) – neither King nor Parliament (not both) can justly make such things as conducting a trade or profession without a piece of paper called a “license” or a “permit” a crime.

    This was reaffirmed by Chief Justice Sir John Holt (he of after 1688 and all that) and later Chief Justices.

    But then came the “Blackstone Heresy” – Sir William Blackstone’s claim that Parliament can do anything it feels like doing.

    The American War of Independence was a war AGAINST the Blackstone Heresy.

    In the 20th century Parliament handed over its powers to officials with vague enabling statutes (see Chief Justice H’s “The New Despotism”).

    This is a lot worse than “democracy” (SM please note) – as it is the EXECUTIVE being able to make law.

    Like a Roman Emperor or Louis XIV of France (the Sun King).

    The first step should be for Parliament (and the American Congress) to take back law making powers from the bureaucracy.

    No official should be allowed to pass regulations with the force of law – without the explicit (and specific) consent of Parliament (the Congress – 1935 case against the National Recovery Administration).

    Then one can think about limiting the power of Parliament itself – presently the problem is that Parliament has too little (not too much) power. The bureaucracy (the Executive) has usurped its “legislative power”.

  • Slartibartfarst

    “Sadly the government is saying “we will incorporate all the regulations into British law – and then decide which regulations we want to repeal later”.
    That is the wrong way round – the burden of proof should be the other way round.”

    Very droll. Brexit “lite”.
    God Save the Queen.

  • Best of luck getting oppressive regulations out of the UK, I’m not holding my breath.

    I am someone who was an active part of Thatcher’s rollback of the state (I was involved in privatisation finance), so I have seen it happen. Compared to the 1970s, what came after was a dramatic difference. That is why so many people in the establishment still hate Thatcher… she proved they can be beaten, and beaten badly. Thatcher made her fair share of serious mistakes, but if you think things cannot change for the better, you are just plain wrong.

  • Slartibartfarst,

    I reckon @Niall Kilmartin puts it rather well, albeit a tad optimistically:

    Brexit removes power and probability from bad outcomes and gives it to good outcomes. It does not guarantee that the bad won’t happen or the good will, but the odds are now more in our favour. Just as the UK of today, with its hate speech laws and its resurgent anti-Semitism and, and and, … is unlike where we were twenty years ago, so Brexit creates at least the possibility of the UK twenty years hence being unlike where it seemed headed before we won and if we’d lost.

    In many ways, Brexit has “thrown the cards into the air”, so to speak, and similarly the 2016 US Presidential Election.

    In the first case, Britain will probably have to make the best it can of things, as the cards fall, relying on a new and untested PM at the helm to steer an honest course through the difficult seas ahead.

    In the second case, the US seems to have elected a humdinger of a president – who is a potential change agent – to the helm, and whose ability to steer an honest course through the difficult seas ahead may yet be stymied/suffocated by a Congress – which is arguably a demonstrably unworkable anachronism fighting for its own survival and with antibodies that will necessarily be strongly resistant to the scale of change that the new president might potentially threaten to introduce.

    Certainly these are and will be interesting times to live through, though the barbarians who are now entered, welcomed, embedded and still coming through the gates may yet be able to seize the opportunity to influence the uncertain flow of events and power, and bend them to their stronger religio-political ideology for a theocratic regime.
    At least theirs is a relatively overt ideology, compared to the seemingly more covert nature of the global elitist drive to a faceless federated new socialist world order controlled by a self-appointed, unelected elite oligarchy, using the Trojan horse of “Climate Change”.

  • jsallison

    Trump is a finger in the eye of the permanent bipartisan beltway fusion party and as such, may be our best chance to kick over the card table. Based on things so far, and it’s still early days, I’m guardedly optimistic.

    I do have concern that Trump, being a relative neophyte to the beltway environment, may not have ready grasp of where the various and sundry skeletons are buried which knowledge would be quite useful for ‘encouraging’ various others. LBJ was a master of this, much to our detriment. His successors to date, not so much.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . Trump, being a relative neophyte to the beltway environment, may not have ready grasp of where the various and sundry skeletons are buried . . . “

    He needs to hire a few experienced Machiavellians into his daily personal circle. He stands a great danger of simply being dirty-tricked to death with his current crop of correct-thinking but insufficiently-devious advisors. They’re missing things that allow the more sophisticatedly venal liberals to counter him.

    Although, for a neophyte politician, he doesn’t do badly. He just needs that extra support.

  • Laird

    I basically agree with jsallison’s take on things, but as to bobby b’s codicil I would respond that this is the role Reince Preibus is supposed to be filling. How successful he will be as Trump’s consigliere (and how much Trump will rely on his counsel) remains to be seen, but if anyone in Washington knows where those skeletons are buried it is Priebus.

  • bobby b

    I think of Preibus as a naif.

    A nice, smart, conservative naif, but a naif.

    We need a new Lee Atwater, a Republican Carville – someone who not only knows where the skeletons are buried, but who can generate new skeletons, and then coerce them into helping him.

  • Laird

    Priebus may indeed be a naïf, but that remains to be seen. What I know is that he has been in the belly of the beast for a very long time and should know how to navigate those waters (to mix my metaphors). Time will tell.

  • Paul Marks

    Deregulation may be something that President Trump is really in favour of – whether Mrs May is in favour of it remains to be seen.

    Of course the bursting of the world Credit Bubble economy will put us all in a mess.

    The left will blame “Trump” and/or “Brexit” – they know perfectly well that the Credit Bubble economy has got nothing to do with President Trump or with British independence – but the left will try and pin blame for the coming Great Depression upon these things.