Monday, June 30, 2008

That elephant

Those of us (the happy or not so happy few) who are aware of the distressful fact that something like 70 to 80 per cent of this country’s legislation and regulation comes from the European Union and our supposedly constitutionally accountable Parliament can do nothing about it refer to the tendency to pretend that this is not happening as “ignoring the elephant in the room”.

There is a very fine example in today’s Daily Telegraph in the shape of a letter from many leading and not so leading artists, demanding that the government go on to stage 2 of Artist’s Resale Right legislation and pay dues to artists’ families for 70 rather than 50 years after the death of the creator as the work is sold on.

There is also a note on the second page that tells us of the government intending to hold a consultation on the subject. The words that are missing both from the small article and the letter are: European, Union, directive, droit de suite. Yes, indeed, ladies and gentlemen, this is European legislation that was opposed by every party in this country but was passed on QMV, as it is a Single Market competence, by countries that do not have an art market.

For those who want to refresh their memories might like to start with a recent posting here and follow the story back through the links.

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