When William Hague decided, on 12 July, to poke his stick into the wasp’s nest labelled “So what does Europe actually do for us?” he must have had a very clear idea of what the reaction would be.
His proposed audit of the extent and impact of the present range of European competences on the UK has provoked comment from all sides of the debate.
This EurActiv piece scans the whole range of those responses and sets out in helpful detail the context in which that debate will develop, including the perspectives of interested parties in other Member States.
The impact of public procurement regulation is often cited as an example of unnecessary bureaucracy but one of the more moderate commentators puts it well – we can’t expect to have the benefits which come from the continental scale of trade agreements (and EU delegations are everywhere at present in pursuit of them) without submitting to the legislative framework which binds that trading bloc together.
Perhaps William Hague is sabre rattling for the benefit of the Tory grass roots in response to increasing tensions at home not only within the coalition but, as a result of pretty woeful recent political performance, within the Conservative Party also?
Perish the thought.