According to the commons library just 72 out of 34,105 laws have been forced on us against our will by the EU - and they are all for our own good!
One of the common Brexiteer 'taking back control' arguments is that we need to get rid of all the laws the EU has imposed on us, a proud island nation, degraded and humiliated by the EU.
This is, of course, complete nonsense and fortunately Jim Grace on Twitter has provided us with the evidence we need to counter this ridiculous argument.
Jim's evidence is broken down into a series of 72 Tweets so to make this more accessible The London Economic has transribed Jim's Tweets into a simple list.
This is an important list and we have reproduced it here as part of our expanding resource for Remainers.
According to the commons library just 4,514 out of 34,105 laws have been influenced by the EU, of which just 72 of them were forced on us against our will.
They included regulations such as making sure food labels say if Aspartine is present, which has been linked to cancer, headaches and seizures, and banning carcinogenic residue in meat.
Others include making airlines compensate passengers for delayed or cancelled flights and making sure additives in mineral water are safe and labels are honest.
You can't help wondering why our government opposed these regulations in the first place - until you remember the commercial interests of those in government, and how these always seem to take precedence over the interests of the rest of us.
The full list, courtesy of Jim Grace, can be seen below. Jim has put a link to each law we voted “no” to… and his own TLDR (Too Long Don't Read), to save you wading through the legalese….
(1/72) 29/03/1996 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:31996L0021 … EU: Food labels should say if Aspartine is present. UK: Nonsense. Bloody red tape! (Linked to cancer, headaches and seizures, even Pepsi USA stopped using it by 2015)
(2/72) 29/04/1996 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:01996L0022-20081218&from=IT … EU: Ban on livestock growth-boosters with hormonal, thyrostatic or beta-agonist effects (carcinogenic residue in meat). UK: Aw come on – a little bit of cancer never hurt no-one.
(3/72) 03/06/1996 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:31996L0035&from=EN … EU: Safety advisers dealing with transport of dangerous goods on public roads etc must be properly trained and regulated. UK: Bleedin elf’n’safety gorn mad. Wassamatta wiv a bit a toxic spillage across a playground?
(4/72) 27/06/1996 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A31996R1168 … EU: we need some conservation measures to preserve North Atlantic fish stocks. UK: Ah Phooey. There’s plenty o’ fish in the sea. We’ve even registered on the website.
(5/72) 22/07/1996 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:31996L0070 … EU: additives to mineral water must be safe and labels must be honest (eg “spring water” has to come from an actual spring) UK: This will kill our sales of Dell-boy Trotter’s “Peckham Spring Water”.
(6/72) 24/09/1996 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:31996L0071&rid=2 … EU: posted workers must be given the same pay and conditions as local workers. UK: You’re kidding! The whole POINT of posted workers is to undercut the locals and undermine their employment rights.
(7/72) 09/12/1996 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A31996D0715 … EU: lets have a consistent approach to data collection on goods traded between member states? UK: Hmm. That buggers up our carousel fraud schemes, somewhat.
(8/72) 17/03/1997 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:31997L0012 … EU: Lets tighten up on livestock health checks, paperwork and traceability. UK: God, you’re not still pissed about that mad cow thing? IT’S SORTED! Twust us – we’s Bwitish. ( Soon after: 10M animals slaughtered during foot and mouth)
(9 & 10/72) 22/04/1997 & 26/06/1997 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=OJ:L:1997:106:TOC … EU: We still need to protect those fish stocks. UK: Aww. Cant we just keep fishin’? There are so few left, we want to catch as many as we can before they are ALL gone.
(11/72) 22/07/97 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:01997R1554-19970805 … EU: OK folks: lets have a single set of rules about drying, powdering and labelling hops – instead of everyone making it up as they go along. UK: We LIKE making it up as we go along. (Hopping mad now)
(12/72) 20/10/1997 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:31997R2087&from=en … EU: Don’t add tartaric acid to wine. And here’s how tariffs on grapejuice from 3rd countries should be calculated. UK: We LIKE adding dodgy things to wine. And the French, Spanish and Italian winemakers should do what WE say!
(13/72) 11/12/1997 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:31997R2087&from=en … EU: firms from outside the EU may carry passengers between destinations in the EU (cabbotage) without needing a registered office in the EU. UK (1997): Not happy. UK (2021): Splendid idea.
(14/72) 16/12/1997 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:31997R2536 … EU: Lamb and sheep meat to be classified in a consistent way as soon as possible after slaughter. UK: That violates the English common law principle: “you may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb”
(15/72) 16/02/1998 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:31998R0411 … EU: Trucks for livestock journeys over 8 hours must have bedding, feed, water, ventilation, partitions and access for inspectors. UK: Why spend all that money? Innit all just meat on the plate at the end of the day?
(16/72) 18/05/1998 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A31998R1048 … EU: This is a Gas turbine/nomenclature/tariff/temporary partial thingy-me-wotsit. UK: If that’s not worth dying in a ditch for, I don’t know what is.
(17/72) 19/06/2000 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32000R1363&from=EN … EU: We are going to intervene in the sugar market to create price stability and protect farm incomes. UK: We don’t like it. (Be really cool if you reformed this system in, ooh say, 2006…)
(18/72) 04/12/2000 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32000R2699&from=EN … EU: These are our proposed subsidies for fruit and veg growers. UK: We don’t like fruit and veg… can you subsidise laxitives and Anusol instead?
(19/72) 29/01/2001 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/GA/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32001R0216 … EU: Let’s increase the tonnage of bananas we take from ACP countries at the lower tariff rates? UK: NEVER! You may take our blue passports, but you will never get your hands on our BANANANANANANANAS!
(20/72) 19/12/2001 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:51999PC0744 … EU: After the mad cow thing and the dioxin thing… maybe we should tighten up on compound feed and how it is labelled? UK: Knee-jerk regulation is the wrong mooooohve.
(21/72) 27/06/2002 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:32002R1177 … EU: South Korean State Aid for shipyards is undercutting our yards on LNG tankers; time for countermeasures. UK: We couldn’t care less about Danish shipyards; Thatcher destroyed all of the UK’s about twenty years ago.
(22/72) 27/02/2003 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2001:0283:FIN … EU: we must ban the advertising of tobacco products in printed media, radio, TV, events sponsorship etc. UK: just hang on a mo’ – there’s good money in those deathsticks, you know.
(23/72) 03/06/2003 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32003D1152 … EU: we must set up an EU-wide computer system to combat evasion of excise duty on booze etc. UK: but we like evading taxes…
(24 & 25 /72) 22/07/2003 http://assets.panda.org/downloads/gmosadangertosustainableagriculture.pdf … EU: Proper labelling of food that uses genetically modified ingredients – so consumers can decide not to buy them if they are worried. UK: Bugger consumers! What they don’t know won’t harm ’em”
(26/72) 26/01/20014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32004R0261:EN:HTML … EU: airlines should compensate passengers for delayed or cancelled flights. UK: we don’t support this proposal because …um…because…we are just utter, utter bastards.
(27/72) 28/02/2005 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A32005R0374 … EU: In 2000 we dropped sugar tariffs for some Balkans countries and we want to row that back a bit now. UK: NO! (We’re sweet enough…)
(28/72) 07/05/2007 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Refugee_Fund … EU: Greece Italy and Spain are bearing disproportionate costs housing asylum seekers – everyone should chip in to help them? UK: Sod the Greeks! They shouldnt have put their country so close to the Middle East.
(29/72) 07/05/2007 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:52011DC0858 … EU: OK can you chip in to funding a programme to help asylum seekers return home? UK: You ‘avin a giraffe, mate?
(30/72) 23/05/2007 Solidarity and management of migration flows EU: Another whip-round needed; to help member States in receiving, and in bearing the consequences of receiving, refugees and displaced persons. UK: Why should WE help? A friend in need… can sod off!
(31/72) 30/05/2007 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32007R0715 … EU: Common standard for emissions testing and what maintenance information vehicle manufacturers should provide. UK: Aw – do we have to? I mean…air polution only kills 36,000 in the UK each year. https://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/schools/population-health-and-environmental-sciences/newsrecords/air-pollution-could-cause-36000-deaths-a-year-in-the-uk.aspx …
(32/72) 24/09/2009https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A32009R1107 EU: no pesticides that are; carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic to reproduction, sensitising chemicals, very toxic, explosive or corrosive. UK: EU spoil sports!
(33/72) 14/12/2010 https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/f67f2a21-c752-11e1-b84a-01aa75ed71a1/language-en … EU: we need rule changes to allow us to do development type stuff with middle-income countries (eg China, India & various states that don’t meet the OECD criteria for “Official Development Assistance”) UK “no” 1st reading & “Yes” 2nd
(34/72) 17/05/2011 https://oeilm.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil-mobile/summary/1148778?t=d&l=en … EU: There’s a potential period of legal limbo between the expiry of current fisheries legal framework and start of the next one. We need a temp. extension to cover the gap. UK: (“Fish? FISH? – ‘ad their chips, their chips, hawhawhaw!”)
(35/72) 12/09/2011 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/LSU/?uri=CELEX%3A32011R1077 … EU: Lets create a new agency, eu-LISA, to ensure 24/7 resilience in the IT systems that keep our borders safe (asylum database, visa database, security, fingerprints, criminals). UK: We LIKE being flooded with crim’s and asylum seekers.
(36/72) 27/10/2011 Apparently we voted against the EU budget for 2012. Except this https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-16201-2011-INIT/en/pdf … says we voted FOR. Whatevs.
(37/72) 30/11/2011 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/236119/8232.pdf … EU: We need a 5% increase in budget. UK (and NL): No not a penny more! EU: OK. How about no real terms increase, just inflationary uplift? UK: Still not happy! EU: Soz.
(38/72) 14/02/2012 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A7-2012-0032&language=EN … EU: We’ve funded food banks since 1987. 13M people rely on them. Then SOMEONE blocked our budget increase last year. Can’t we keep the funding going for another 12 months? UK: NO! Let the plebs starve; the very sight of them affronts us.
(39/72) 09/03/2012 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32013D0258 … EU: The European Refugee Fund needs more dosh, to help those countries that are bearing the brunt. UK: Having taken moral and ethical advice from Voldemort, Sauron and Satan himself, our view is: TOUGH SHIT!
(40/72) 26/07/2012 EU: We need more cash. https://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/the-uk-and-the-eu-budget-the-facts/ … EU: Our budget was 1.2% of members’ total GDP 10 years ago – now it’s 1%. Come on, members? (your national budgets have all INCREASED as a %ge of GDP). UK: Not a penny. & everything is your fault, & we hate you.
(41/72) 08/10/2012 http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=ST%2010090%202012%20REV%202 … EU: The Maritime Safety Agency needs re-organising & more muscle to punish oil spills from ships and oil rigs. UK: (Gulp! Probs OUR oil rigs.) WE OPPOSE!
(42/72) 21/11/2012 EU: We need a bit more money – really. UK: We don’t care. This is an opportunity to grandstand for our euroskeptic electorate over really tiny amounts of money.
(43/72) 10/12/2012 EU: We need about £0.4Bn for 2012 (Or 4 DUP MP’s, if you prefer) UK: We don’t care. This is ANOTHER opportunity to grandstand for our euroskeptic electorate over really tiny amounts of money.
(44/72) 12/12/2012 EU: OK we have trimmed it by about 10%. UK. Still don’t care!
(45/72) 26/02/2013 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32013R0228 … EU: Canary Islands, Azores, Madeira etc are struggling due to their remoteness. Lets help them? UK: Tough titty – their fault for being so remote. Can’t they be tax havens like Cayman and BVI?
(46 & 47/72 ) 24/06/2013 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32013R0575 … EU: We need prudential supervision of credit institutions and investment firms so that stuff like Lehman’s and the 2008 crash don’t happen again. UK: Oh don’t worry. If the bankers go bust again, taxpayers will bail em out.
(48&49) UK budget grandstanding on tiny amounts. (50/72) 10/10/2013 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:32013R1023 … EU: we want to make some changes to the employment contract for EU staff. UK: they’re your staff – do what you wan….Wait! We oppose! (Dunno why….)
(51,52,53) More pointless budget grandstanding.
(54/72) 12/02/2014 https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-6418-2014-INIT/en/pdf … EU: Fund our Hercule III programme to combat irregularities, fraud and corruption affecting the EU budget. UK: Er…anti-fraud you say…hmm… WE OPPOSE! (Soz.. just got to pop out and make a call…) see also:
(55/72) 11/03/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=celex:32014R0223 … EU: Let’s provide funds for the most deprived – these people are really suffering. UK: Hey! We have been deliberately CAUSING deprivation with our austerity programme – now you want to undo all that work! WTF?
(56/72) 12/03/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32014R0236 … EU: we need to agree rules for funding stuff like development, democracy, human rights, European Neighbourhood. UK: every one of those things is anathema to us.
(57/72) 12/03/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:32014R0230 … EU: We want to establish an instrument to fund stability and peace in countries. UK: Stability and peace?! Wipe me arse with them.
(58/72) 12/03/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32014R0235 … EU: Lets establish a financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights around the world. UK: Sod off! Lets establish an instrument to wipe out democracy and human rights in the UK. Call it “Brexit”.
(59/72) 12/03/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2014.077.01.0077.01.ENG … EU: Lets establish an instrument for co-operation with 3rd countries. UK: Co-operate on THIS, mofo!
(60/72) 12/03/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32014R0233 … EU: Lets establish an instrument for development cooperation. UK: Development. Cooperation. Aid. These words make our skin burn.
(61/72) 12/03/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A32014R0232 … EU: Measures to reduce poverty, promote development, trade, education and science in countries that border the EU? UK: SOD DEVELOPMENT! SOD TRADE! SOD EDUCATION, SOD SCIENCE AND SOD ALLEVIATING SODDING POVERTY!
(62/72) 12/03/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32014R0231 … EU: Help for pre-accession countries to get ready for joining the EU. UK: SOD THE SODDING PRE-ACCESSION COUNTRIES! SOD ‘EM TO HELL AND BACK!!
(63/72) 16/04/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A32014L0054 … EU: Measures to give FOM workers protection from exploitation. UK: But we WANT to exploit FOM workers – it helps keep our UK-born workers under the thumb.
(64/72) 16/04/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32014R0423 … EU: Boring bit of housekeeping re staff pensions, let’s hope no eejit takes this as an opportunity for pointless, immature, grandstanding. UK: Someone mention my name?
(65/72) 16/04/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32014R0422 … EU: Same again re staff pensions, let’s hope that eejit feels he’s made his point already. UK: Do you ever get that feeling of déjà vu?
(66 & 67 /72) 30/09/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32014R1141 … EU: Now (Cameron) no political donations from dodgy Russians, Criminals or organised bicycle-seat sniffers. Farage? stop spunking your expense account on “other stuff”! UK: Hey! political corruption is an UK tradition, immemorial.
(68/72) 13/10/2014 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg/2014/1144/oj … EU: Enhanced labelling for EU Agricultural products; not just nutritional info, but also food safety, traceability, authenticity, health, animal welfare, environment, sustainability. UK: Less information consumers get, happier we’ll be.
(69/72) More budget grandstanding for the Mail readers.
(70/72) 05/03/2015 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:32015R0759 … EU: These measures will protect National Statistical Authorities from interference by their National Governments. UK: You think? Hahaha – one day we will put Rory Stewart in charge.
(71/72) 05/03/2015 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32015R0758 … EU: Some rules about type approval of e-Call systems (they automatically call 999 in a car crash) UK: More Euro-bollocks. Wouldn’t have saved Diana, hawhawhaw.
(72/72) 23/06/2015 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52015PC0569 … EU: The CJEU needs more judges to deal with a big backlog of cases. UK: But we LIKE cases to wait ages. It means only the wealthy – who can afford to wait – can get justice.
Cries of “VAT!”. a) My thread was “rules we opposed” not “rules we supported” b) If a 15% floor is so intolerable, how comes our VAT is 20% and the lowest in the whole EU is 17%? c) We could have listed sanitary towels at 0% VAT – like Ireland did – but HMG couldn’t be arsed.
Jim Grace #FBPE (@mac_puck) on Twitter, transcribed by Jack Peat of The London Economic