Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Proof of the Pudding

Today's newspapers bring confirmation of the seriousness and nastiness of the EU threat to British culture and archives. This is a message this site has been conveying for several weeks in respect of the Malvine Project and inviolability of the EU's archives.

Chris Davies MEP (Lib)

Chris Davies MEP, the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament, admits the referendum on the European Constitution is a "no-hoper", see The Independent (26 January 2005). This view is refreshing, coming from such a Europhile party. Let's hope archival institutions dedicate no more time to supporting the growth of EU institutions including the regions.

However, Mr. Davies also said that a no vote would amount to little more than a cry of frustration against a changing world, and that it would not lead to withdrawal by Britain. This latter view is in conflict with the scare tactics of the Blairites who assure us this is exactly what will happen. We wish it were true!

Daniel Hannan MEP (Con)

Daniel Hannan MEP, Conservative, writes in a different vein in The Daily Telegraph (26 January 2005) new initiatives go from being unthinkable to being inevitable without any intervening stage. It happened with the euro and the social chapter. It is happening again with the European army.

However, Mr. Hannan's comments also need qualifying. While he holds up the Metric Martyrs as an example of EU law out-ranking UK law, he conveniently fails to mention it was the Conservatives who signed up to the Treaty of Maastricht 1992 and implemented a ministerial order (Weights and Measures Act 1985 (Metrication) (Amendment) Order 1994) slavishly in support of EU directive 80/181/EEC, as amended by directive 89/617/EEC, over-ruling the Weights and Measures Act 1985.

In fact, the Conservatives went further than implementing the EU directives. They made use of Imperial a criminal offence. It is not a criminal offence to use Imperial in France! French archivists even allow their customers to use pens in their searchrooms!

Thank goodness for popular referenda.

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