EU: Legislation

House of Lords written question – answered on 28th April 2009.

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Photo of Lord Stoddart of Swindon Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the light of the statement by German MEP Jorgo Chatzimarkakis that 85 per cent of German legislation originates in Brussels, they will state what percentage of United Kingdom legislation is of European Union origin.

Photo of Lord Malloch-Brown Lord Malloch-Brown Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Africa, Asia and the UN)

It would entail disproportionate cost to research and compile the percentage of UK legislation originating in the European Union: some European measures are directly applicable in member states and others require incorporation into national law through a variety of legislative or administrative means.

It has been estimated that around half of all UK legislation with an impact on business, charities and the voluntary sector stems from legislation agreed by Ministers in Brussels, but this is a category of legislation which is more likely than legislation in general to have originated in the EU. It is likely that the overall proportion is therefore much lower.

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David Wright
Posted on 29 Apr 2009 12:18 pm (Report this annotation)

I don't believe a word of that answer - the proportion is far higher and even more so if account is taken of the government's tendency to 'gold plate' EU legislation.

Alfred Ordinary
Posted on 29 Apr 2009 3:52 pm (Report this annotation)

A disappointing reply to a very important question. Sadly truth is the first victim in the EU debate eg, Richard Corbett MEP on his blog (Feb 25th 2009) says

"EU law is, according to most studies, a much lower proportion (9 percent according to the House of Commons library, 6.3 percent according to the Swedish parliament, 12 percent according to the Finnish parliament and between 12 and 19 percent according to the Lithuanian parliament)."

So it would be good to hear a definitive answer when many sources put the figure at between 50 and 85%.