IT is often presumed that regulations emanating from the EU not only undermine sovereignty but effectively stifle enterprise. No doubt there may be some truth in particular instances but paradoxically the reverse can be the case.

An example is arcane regulation governing the operation of bus services.

Until July 2017, not-for-profit operators were exempt from EU rules on driver licensing, transport managers, maintenance standards and financial viability. It was our own Department for Transport which, on its own initiative, then insisted on applying the EU rules.

This was presumably to make sure that competition with commercial operators is conducted on a level playing field.

The misapplication of this EU regulation by traffic commissioners leads to absurd anomalies such that corporate providers such as First, Stagecoach and Arriva are allowed to have one manager covering multiple depots and hundreds of buses while a private operator has to have two managers even when there is only one depot and 30 buses. Both these requirements flout the intention of the law.


This has nothing to do with EU ‘interference’ but everything to do with the misinterpretation or misapplication of regulation whatever its source.

Rules can be frustrating at the best of times but be careful what you wish for in the pursuit of the ideology of deregulation – one of the important and increasingly questionable objectives of the Leave campaigners.

Paul Thomson Town Lane, Mobberley