it is the EEC (now known as the EU) that has had the most significance, particularly for law”2. Elliot further comments that in addition to the economic objectives, “it is intended that there should be increasing political unity, though there is some disagreement – particularly, though not exclusively in Britain – as to how far this should go”3.
It is submitted that economic integration and the policy making of the EU is inherently dependent on legislation and therefore a central issue of importance is the ability of the EU institutional framework to effectively implement and regulate EU economic objectives at national level4. As an initial observation, Baimbridge and Whyman posit that the organisational model of the EU with the roles of the Commission, European Parliament and the European Court of Justice is its inherent weakness in achieving EU harmonisation5.
In supporting this argument, they refer to the EU regulatory model as the democratic deficit of the EU framework “in terms of direct influence afforded to European citizens over the decision making process of the principle institutions”6. As such, the institutional framework clearly lends itself to conflict with the national political framework of member states. The focus of this paper is to critically evaluate the impact of European Union and EC law on the UK and business. Whilst the sheer complexity of multifarious issues raised by the impact of EC law and EU institutional policy making on the UK is outside the remit of this paper, in evaluating the issue this paper will focus on the policy initiatives of the EU, impact of legislation and undertake a contextual evaluation of the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”).
The tension between European Community law (EC) and national law is arguably the most debated topic of constitutional law7. The convention of Parliamentary supremacy is rooted within the British constitution as a fundamental limb of the separation of powers