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Subsidiarity and Brexit #politics

The principle of subsidiarity is defined in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. It aims to ensure that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen and that constant checks are made to verify that action at EU level is justified in light of the possibilities available at national, regional or local level.

Specifically, it is the principle whereby the EU does not take action (except in the areas that fall within its exclusive competence), unless it is more effective than action taken at national, regional or local level. It is closely bound up with the principle of proportionality, which requires that any action by the EU should not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the Treaties.


What we have seen in practice is power being centralised in Brussels and ending up in the hands of unelected bureaucrats. A United States of Europe with career politicians such as Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk wanting absolute power over the whole European bloc. The referendum in the UK was about returning decision-making back to the UK and away from Brussels. The Commission failed to abide by the Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union and breached the Lisbon treaty. The British people were lied to by the likes of Boris Johnson and the ‘leave campaign’ but the referendum decided to leave because of the more fundamental issue.

Regional authority

In the UK regional authorities have been set up with elected regional mayors and police commissioners. Are they decentralising power away from Westminster or grabbing power from local councils? The government gives them power over a regional budget that is much lower than the previous budget and passes responsibility or blame for failing policing and crumbling infrastructure to the regional authority.

Power to the people

We need power closer to the people. We need our town halls back and operational. Where possible services should be controlled as locally as possible. Instead of closing police stations, we should be opening stations in the communities they serve.  Power needs to be devolved from Brussels and devolved from Westminster but also devolved at a grass-roots level. Let’s see subsidiarity at all levels.

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