Move to unitary status 'is part of EU policy'

SIR - In the week when Cornwall has a Unitary Authority foisted on it , we are also asked to consider a new" proposal for Unitary Authorities in Devon, more or less identical to the old one. Devonians are understandably confused that proposals previously

SIR - In the week when Cornwall has a Unitary Authority foisted on it , we are also asked to consider a "new" proposal for Unitary Authorities in Devon, more or less identical to the old one.Devonians are understandably confused that proposals previously rejected on financial grounds should be resurrected, in a process supposedly intended to save money. Only the so-called Minister for the South-West, Ben Bradshaw, thinks it "great news", probably in the forlorn hope that it will save his Exeter seat.There's no need to be confused. It's quite simple. The plan has been made, and all that's happening now is a classic EU manoeuvre to try and make it look like it's being democratically decided.Devon's move to Unitary status is a procedural step towards the regionalisation of England, as outlined in the Maastricht Treaty, Regulation (EC) 1059/2003 and elsewhere.The regionalisation agenda dictates a de-layering of local democracy to create unitary authorities. Meanwhile, unelected Regional Assemblies (or Regional Development Authorities) create a parallel, non-democratic regional command structure which reports directly to the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels. All new EU members, such as Poland, Bulgaria etc, are required to change to this structure before joining.You can already see our 'Regional Capital' proudly proclaiming its status on the 'Welcome to Exeter' signs. Now we're being 'consulted' on this, retrospectively.Similarly, this week sees the closure of the village shop in Buckland Brewer, following removal of the Post Office franchise as a consequence of the EU's insistence on breaking up the Royal Mail. According to the unfortunate owner, the notice advertising the alternative mobile PO service was printed a month before the standard, cynical 'public consultation' on the closure was held. In these ways, our democracy is being reduced to a kind of museum exhibit, a 'living history' tableau of how 'Europeans' used to govern themselves. Only the European elections in June offer us a chance to put a stop to this.Stephen CrowtherHeanton Punchardon.


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