From: Richard Corbett MEP
Sent: 09 February 2007 17:13
Thank you for your email from earlier today.
Interesting that you found my reference to the lies and hypocrisy of "eurosceptics" as a reference to you, and I take it that it is now official that Openeurope is a partisan eurosceptic outfit.
Granted, I had not looked at your report on the Financial Services Action Plan in which you say (and I will have a look) that you are specific about some pieces of legislation which you do not think are worth keeping. If so, I am sure you will agree that this is the
exception rather than the rule in the bulk of general eurosceptic criticisms about European legislation.
Interestingly, this very morning, I read in a newspaper belonging to the Economist group, the headline "The EU's Financial Services Action Plan has been one of the more successful exercises in European integration", so there are obviously different perspectives on this one.
I am not sure why you think I am kidding when I say "a large proportion"of EU regulation is designed to cut bureaucracy: I did not say "all" EU regulation. Obviously, some legislation pursues other purposes. To take a topical example, the Commission's proposals this week on cutting emissions from cars is one that primarily pursues an environmental
objective - though I hope you would agree that it would make sense to have a common standard in our common market on this point rather than 27 different ones?
I would also be interested to hear your views on the question in my blog piece (delighted you are reading it!) on trade marks and whether you agree with the idea that it would be useful to consolidate and codify EU legislation.
I stand by my comment that it is rather simplistic to say that the EU has "imposed" unwanted and unnecessary legislation on member states when it is the member states themselves, in the EU Council, which approve or not the legislation in question, and when a very large majority (if not unanimity) is required to adopt such legislation. This is quite contrary to the impression that eurosceptic newspapers are all too willing to promote, that it is the European Commission that imposes legislation.
As to the idea that something will slip through because Gordon Brown was away for the birth of his son, this allegation beggars belief in that, if a minister cannot go to a meeting of the Council he is always replaced by another minister and Britain would certainly not have been
As to the takeover directive, you may recall that this fell on a tied vote in the European Parliament. Had some of the eurosceptic conservatives who were in the building but not present at the vote been there to support their party's official position of supporting the
directive, it would have been adopted.
All that being said, thanks for sending me your comments. I do welcome comments and I do respond to all comments received. I'm off to have my cup of tea now!
Richard Corbett MEP
From: Open Europe
Many thanks for your speedy reply. Never let it be said that MEPs aren't listening.
In fairness, it's in a piece which is about us and a report we did. Or is it "the lies and hypocrisy" of some other group that is making you feel nauseous? In which case we accept your apology unreservedly. :-)
Yes of course - when Brown was away he was replaced by Paul Boateng at short notice. There was then a snap vote, despite him requesting that there wasn't one. That was the point at which MIFID was laden down with all kinds of protectionist and unnecessary requirements, and those who wanted real market opening spent the rest of the process trying to recover lost ground.
The car standard for emissions is an interesting case in point. Leaving aside the question of the meaningfulness of the "average" targets that are now being discussed, and imagining that we really were going to set a "hard" environmental target - would that work?
Are we going to stop cars with worse carbon-mileage coming into the EU from outside? If not, aren't you just going to relocate production of all these types of vehicles to outside the EU?
Re: comments on your blog - is that a no?