Letter: Subsidiarity in the EC will not preserve national sovereignty

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The Independent Online
Sir: Subsidiarity, you explain to your readers ('Major acclaims subsidiarity', 2 July), is 'the principle of letting individual states retain decision-making powers wherever possible'. It is not; that is merely what the Government keeps saying it is. It is the principle that decisions should be taken at the lowest feasible level, which may be national, regional, local or even institutional.

Our Conservative government believes that no power below its own should exist; opposed to devolution, it has hamstrung local government, destroyed the autonomy of the universities and concentrated all power in its own hands. That is why it relentlessly misinterprets 'subsidiarity'; you should not abet it by adopting that misinterpretation.

Yours sincerely,


New College, Oxford

2 July