Tuesday, 22 April 2014


Is UKIP's claim that "75% of our laws are now made in Brussels" accurate and true?

The independent House of Commons library found that "just 9 per cent of statutory instruments passed in the UK Parliament between 1998-2005 were implementing European legislation" according to Channel 4's Fact Check service.

"UKIP told FactCheck that it took the 84 per cent figure drawn from this research, and adjusted it down to 75 per cent for the UK in light of the fact Britain did not join the single currency.
The party said the downward adjustment of 9 per cent was not based on any empirical research, but an estimate assisted by “senior political experience” within its ranks."

The truth of the matter is muddied by confusion over regulations and/or directives being included in the numbers. "Confused? FactCheck thinks you should be." But they conclude that "Clearly this is a complex issue, and difficult to prove, but there is a lack of evidence to suggest 75 per cent, or even half, of the UK’s laws now come from Brussels."

So, should UKIP be allowed to print it?

I think that misinformation damages democracy and suggest that there should be laws against lying in public life. A system of deterrents could be enforced through a system akin to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Such a system wouldn't rule out something like "We estimate that 75% of our laws are made in Brussels."

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