I should point out the irony contained in your report of the comments of Alasdair Douglas (London ‘boosted’ by foreign competition), in which he spoke of the fillip to London from foreign competition. He is reported as saying that EU attempts to introduce a single contract law could undermine the ‘English brand’.
Surely the reverse is the case. The so-called ‘attempts’ by the EU are to introduce an ‘optional’ sales law regime targeted at consumers and SMEs with the aim of facilitating cross-border trade and commerce. It will be an ‘option’, which the parties can freely choose to ignore. This is surely exactly the sort of competition that the English brand should relish, to show its star quality at the high end of the market with which the City is rightly concerned.
Any optional EU sales law will have to compete for its own place and level. Indeed it may, as our justice secretary has said, be an ‘Esperanto fallacy’; but then Esperanto never undermined the English language.
There is just a chance that such an optional instrument on European sales law with the right contents (and this is what we should be concentrating on) could deliver a boost to our flagging European economies in terms of additional trade. Surely that is a competitive boost worth having.
Diana Wallis, solicitor, former MEP, former vice-president of the European Parliament, Swanland, East Yorkshire
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