Friday, August 26, 2005

Welcome to reality

Prize for the most fatuous comment of the week on the EU textiles debacle – against pretty stiff competition – must go to Chris Sherwood in his letter to The Telegraph today.

Sherwood, who seems to operate out of the same building that houses the LiB-Dim office in Brussels – although, in his frequent writings he never declares any political affiliation – argues that "the recent Sino-EU spat over textiles has damaged many European companies financially," adding that, "the proposed EU constitutional treaty, by giving the EU legal personality, would make it accountable for such debacles. Compensation would be a much more realistic prospect."

Of course, it the Commission had not interfered in the first place or, better still, the EU did not exist, then we would not have had this mess in the first place. But then, such a simple solution escapes the brain of Mr Sherwood as does the simple question – like who would eventually end up paying the compensation?

On the other hand, the City Comment brings home the reality of the EU, noting that the regulation enforcing the quotas on China was passed by EU states under qualified majority voting.

This, says the author, Neil Collins, will remain in force until a fresh majority can be assembled to repeal it. This will not be easy, given that Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia are all lined up with Greece, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Italy in support of the quotas. Add in France, with its former colonies in North Africa to think of, and you have a blocking minority, which is all they need to maintain the status quo, at least until 2008, when this EU law is due to lapse.

There's much more in the mess that is the acquis communautaire - and that is fossilised for ever. That is the reality. Even when the law is completely and painfully obviously wrong, we cannot change it. Welcome to reality Mr Sherwood.

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