Monday 11 January 2016

And they call this "cooperation"

Here follows an extract from the February 2014 Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The extract refers to a measure on shipping pollution.
The revised International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships 1973 as modified (MARPOL) Annex VI entered into force on 1 July 2010. Regulation 13 of MARPOL Annex VI introduces three Tiers of mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission standards from ships. The Tier III standards provide for 80 per cent reduction of NOx emissions by 1 January 2016. The superyacht (vessels commonly over 24min length) industry has been addressing the challenges of Tier III NOx emission standard since 2010. However, it is considered that sub SOLAS (International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea) Yachts of over 24 meters and less than 500gt cannot be built to be Tier III compliant as the existing technology is not yet suitable for installation on these vessels due to constraints on space, design restrictions and significant cost impact.

As such the industry faces the loss of the most commercially vibrant market sector with significant threat to revenue and jobs. The UK has been actively involved in a correspondence group set up by IMO to discuss this issue, which ultimately led to the UK (the Maritime & Coastguard Agency [MCA], BMF and UK boatyards), working alongside other European industry members via ICOMIA and SYBAss (Superyacht Builders Association), to undertake a full technical, economic and social study to support a proposal that the deadline for implementing the Tier III NOx emission standard in yachts of less than 500gt be postponed by three years.

The EU has ‘observer status’ at IMO and was kept informed of this work and the UK’s intention to submit a paper to IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC65). In fact, the UK’s paper had the support of a number of Member States, so the Commission was also aware of its importance to a significant number of Member States. However, it was not until the penultimate pre-MEPC65 meeting of the Commission and Member States that the matter became of interest to the Commission as an air pollution issue, rather than an economic one.

It was at this point that the Commission claimed competency and set about requiring the UK and other Member States to withdraw all support for the proposal. From this point on the Commission refused to consider the merits of the industry’s proposal and Member States were threatened with infraction proceedings if they did not adhere to the Commission’s competency. Both the MCA and the UK’s permanent representative to the Commission worked hard to push the UK’s position, but to no avail.

The only opportunity the Commission offered to contest this decision was if the Council of Ministers voted that Member States would retain competency on this matter, knowing full well that this issue could not be brought before the Council within the timeframe prior to the MEPC65 meeting.

Owing to this decision by the Commission, the UK and its partners had to find an alternative IMO member (from outside the EU) to submit the paper on its behalf. While the UK was able to secure the support of other IMO members to undertake this submission, the Commission’s position still meant that the UK and other member states were unable to support or vote on the proposal at MEPC65. The Commission had, in effect, rendered 27 votes at IMO redundant.
This barely requires additional commentary, save to say that here is your irrefutable proof that detailed regulation (hard law) is made by global entities (and that is the trend throughout) - and that the EU removes our vote and overrides our veto in instances that are critical to our economic interests. It also sabotages the timetables to prevent any challenge to barely legitimate power grabs.

The EU at every opportunity seeks to remove the nation state from the decision making process and afford itself more powers - often with regard to unrelated agendas where regulation is either impractical, inappropriate, and in accordance with different regulations that have been fashioned in an equally undemocratic and underhanded fashion. This we are told is "cooperating with our partners" - and this is Britain "having our say" and "influencing" law.

The fact of the matter is that if we want our own vote and our own veto and influence in the laws before they even reach the European level then we have to leave the EU. It is nothing even approaching influence or democracy to remain a member. It is a wholly unsatisfactory relationship.

It should also be noted that this is as things stood in 2014. The future of the EU, notwithstanding peripheral reforms, does not see a change this dynamic, and the EU assuming ever more control over the decisions that affect us, without having a say, is the direction of travel. This has far greater implications than the minutia of EU renegotiation as reported by our media.

Even if we see significant reform in terms of splitting the EU into a two pillar Europe, nothing will change the supranational nature of the EU entity. This power-grabbing dynamic is encoded into the DNA of the EU and cannot be reformed. Any attempt to do so would be quashed at the point of suggestion. No renegotiation changes the fundamental nature of our relationship - and continued membership only sees our global influence completely and comprehensively annulled.

We are witnessing the gradual salami slicing of UK powers for the creation of an EU supreme government in which our powers will be no greater than that of a local council. That was always the design of the EU - and those in the Remain camp need to come clean and publicise widely that this is their intent for Britain - and always has been.

Brexit is not an economic issue, it is not a matter of how much we pay into the budget - it is purely a question of democracy and our continued existence as a nation state. If eradication of the nation state is what europhiles favour, along with the removal of democracy, they need to say so, so that we can have an honest debate about it. They won't, because they know full well they would lose hands down.

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