I have never considered myself anti European: I am pro free trade, open markets, and plain dealing. I am however against taxation without representation, socialism, and grand 'liberal' projects conducted duplicitously.
I am also strongly in favour of the Common Law, and hostile to the Code Napoleon, as any Englishman should be: Nelson and Wellington didn't take the field entirely for their own amusement. As any well-traveled businessman will tell you, that's how the world of international commerce sees things too: for choice, almost wherever you go, big contracts** are drawn up under Common Law precepts and made subject to the jurisdiction of the London or New York courts (or, in the energy biz, Harris County Texas for some oily matters). Naturally, this is as good for the English legal profession as is the financial dominance of the City for the UK economy in general - perhaps more so, since there is no downside whatever. Indeed, it probably helps keep the City where it is: Mr CU will be able to tell us more.
And ... here we go again. The duplicitous ones have decided they want to squeeze out the commercial law of universal choice, by promoting a doctrine of a single European contract law - civil code model, naturally.
Have a look at this Grauniad piece, and note particularly how it starts.
Mike Bisby runs a small online business from his home in Hull selling cat scratching posts … Bisby would like to expand to sell his wares in other EU countries. But he is prevented from doing so by a complicated legal regime … “the practical difficulties make it near impossible for small businesses like mine to sell abroad," Bisby said. The EU has long been keen to get rid of the obstacles facing the likes of kitforcats.com …
Aside from the fact that this is utter bollocks, how do we suppose the touching story of little Mr Bisby and his oh-so-adorable, worthy but hard-pressed little enterprise brought itself to the attention of the Guardian? Is his a cause célèbre in South Yorkshire ? has Lord 'Mouth of the Humbug' Prescott been lobbying for him in Brussels ? do they speak of little else in Strasbourg ?
Or has it been drummed up by a PR firm, fronting for one of those sugary, pernicious Euro-campaigns ?
I think we can guess. Man the ramparts, chaps, here they come again.
** I am of course aware of the very large Russian gas sales contracts to European buyers that are famously not written under common law. Much good it does them !