“We must take back control”
As if we don’t already have control. Would we really have joined an institution where we wouldn’t have control?
This soundbite is clever and concise, and easy to jump on, and it’s one of Boris Johnson’s favourite things to chant. And by doing it, he’s deliberately giving credence to the lie that we don’t have control over our lawmaking, that we’re ruled by an unaccountable bureaucratic force, somewhere in the darkest depths of Brussels. Oooooh.
[I can’t remember who made this point but it’s a good one. While we’re talking about bureaucrats – like they’re fat cats somewhere in Brussels, wearing top hats and laughing at taking money straight from the UK… The EU employs 55,000 bureaucrats. The UK government employs 400,000.]
Anyway, I digress. The lawmakers in the EU ARE elected. It’s that simple. Who makes laws? The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament.
“Are they both elected?” Yes.
“By who?” Us.
“When was this?!” European Elections and General Elections. Chances are you didn’t give a hoot about the European elections – ironic considering where we’re at today.
“I still don’t understand?” It’s like this – the European Parliament is voted in during European Elections (in which you get a vote) and the Council of the EU is made up of government ministers who you voted in during the 5 yearly General Elections (in which you get a vote).
“But the Commission! What about the Commission! They’re unelected and make the law!” No. The Commission never legislates law. It proposes directives. (And the Commission is not the only one who can propose directives or regulations etc.) … The ELECTED COUNCIL (that’s the ministers you voted in in your General Election) and the EU Parliament (who you vote in during European Elections) legislate. All laws go through elected houses. In the same way you don’t vote in every individual civil servant and government workers into their jobs, we don’t vote in every person who works for the Commission. That would be insane! The Commission workers are like civil servants and they do not have the powers to make laws.
“Oh OK! But even if they’re elected, the UK can be outvoted and then we HAVE to be ruled by their laws!”
True Dat. But it really very rarely happens. As far as the UK being outvoted goes, it’s happened almost 60 times.
“ALMOST 60 TIMES!” Leave campaigners cry.
Yes. But compared to that 60 times, it’s voted with the majority almost 2,500 times. AH! All we needed was PERSPECTIVE!
So actually, 95% of the time, we’re all good with EU laws. And that’s YOUR government voting on those laws, elected by you, in the General Elections.
That’s a not bad success rate, am I right? I don’t agree with EVERY decision that’s made at work – unperforated kitchen roll, sanitiser over soap and the teaspoon policy, but overall, I’m OK with my place of work, they have my back.
I don’t agree with every decision my gym makes – allowing weight mirror selfies, not having a pool and the orange colour scheme but generally, I’m benefiting and getting value for my money (that’s a lie I haven’t been since last week and I’m eating a croissant as I type).
And ONE last point on unelected lawmakers. While the EU’s lawmakers are elected (in
European elections and General Elections) you know who isn’t? Dudes in The House of Lords. In the UK. Maybe concentrate on stamping that out first?