Volcanic Panic & The Argument for Closer European Integration

I am increasingly convinced that as time goes on, many more questions will have to be answered as to why the panic over the volcano was so necessary and ended up causing so many problems, damaging the profitability of airlines, damaging an already weak economy, stranding hundreds of thousands of people across the world.

We are not without precedent in the modern world. I have not yet died from BSE, the Millennium Bug or Swine Flu. I am confident that I could have got on any aeroplane over Europe and survived (maybe except really close to Iceland).

I believe that some European body sets the regulations about volcanic ash and it is up to the individual flight space authorities as to whether they follow them or not but it is expected that they do follow them. The problem being in my eyes that I doubt whether the body that sets the regulations have ever flown a plane or being involved with the airline industry.

In America, they only have one authority to set the rules and to decide whether it is safe to fly which makes things much more simple. Perhaps in Europe we should also only have one aviation authority – scary though this means greater European integration.

Perhaps surprisingly for a Conservative, I am all for further European integration. However I am dead against the undiplomatic way it is foisted upon us – see the undemocratic way the Lisbon Treaty was foisted upon us. Gordon Brown promised us a referendum but didn’t actually give one – apparently we did not want it. Erm…

Unfortunately Europe as an institution has damaged itself and needs to repair itself.

By the way, only about 50% of our laws are decided by Europe – as opposed to 80% as UKIP would have you believe. I really do not appreciate the damage they would like to do to Britain by threatening to take us out of the European Union – our largest trading partner.

Anyway, enough politics for now…

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