Conservative MEPs propose red-card system to block bad EU laws

04-Feb-2014 @ 13:0

Sajjad Karim Sajjad Karim

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Conservative MEPs today put forward plans for a red-card system to let national parliaments block burdensome and interfering European legislation.

As part of the continuing Conservative drive for better lawmaking in the European Union, Tory MEPs put a report before the European Parliament outlining a raft of measures to tackle red tape and rationalise the legislative process.

The report was drafted by spokesman Sajjad Karim as the response of the Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee to plans announced last year by the European Commission itself for cutting red tape.

It proposes to reduces the red tape burden on small businesses by exempting more of them from regulation altogether, as well as to increase the role of evidence-based policy making to ensure any new laws are necessary and proportionate.

It also targets so-called gold-plating and reinforces the principle the new legislation should only be adopted if old and defunct regulation can be scrapped to make way.

Mr Karim said: "We believe national parliaments should have significantly more powers to play a role in drafting EU law – including a right to veto if proposed legislation is disproportionate or interferes in areas which clearly should be decided at national or local level.

"This so-called red card approach has been suggested by both William Hague and David Lidington and we believe the European parliament and the EU as a whole need to take it on board.

"We already have a yellow card system which allows national parliaments to issue a warning if a proposed law breaches principles of subsidiarity. Sometimes the Commission heeds the yellow card, but on occasions it has not.

"Footballers who ignore a yellow card end up getting a red one. The same ultimate sanction is needed for the EU Commission."

The report calls for an inquiry into how a red-card system should be set up. Conservative MEPs believe it should be used on similar terms to the procedures already in place, but with much greater effect.

The current procedures are seen by some as being too weak to be effective. Some national parliaments do not prioritise them domestically, nor are they given appropriate weight in the EU process.

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