Denis MacShane, a former Europe minister, has claimed that just nine per cent of UK laws derive from Brussels and based this on research by the House of Commons Library of the number of Statutory Instruments through which most regulations are now enacted. However, this ignored the fact that many EU rules take direct effect. The Lithuanian government, which has been counting since it joined in 2005, reckons the amount of laws affecting it directly attributable to the EU is about 30 per cent.
According to research by the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA), there are currently 16,980 EU acts in force and between 1998 and 2007 there was a net gain of 9,415 EU laws. In 2007, 3,010 EU laws became UK law, while only 993 EU regulations were repealed - a net gain of 2,017 extra laws.
The pace at which new EU laws were promulgated also increased at a record speed, with a net gain of over 2,000 new laws in both 2006 and 2007, compared to an annual average net gain of only 942 new laws between 1998 and 2007. Almost half of the extra 9,415 EU laws created in the 10 years to the end of 2007 were introduced in 2006 and 2007. Ben Farrugia, a policy analyst at the TPA, says: “Despite EU rhetoric about reducing regulation, it is growing at a record rate.”