The Acquis Communautaire contains the accumulated laws which the European Union has acquired from member states and therefore laws which the member states can no longer amend or repeal or fail to obey.
The problem faced by Edward Heath in 1972 was how to enact the then existing 13,000 pages of Acquis into United Kingdom law, a job which he delegated to Geoffrey Howe.
This 13,000 pages, incidentally, has now grown to over 100,000.
Faced with the problem of getting a Bill through Parliament which it was thought would run to thousands of clauses, Howe, with the help of his senior parliamentary counsel John Fiennes, came up with the idea of a short European Communities Bill of just 12 clauses and four schedules, with a short passage delegating to ministers the power to enact law directly.
The Labour Party was officially committed to oppose the Bill and Heath could not rely on his own backbenchers.
How the Bill came to be approved only emerged 20 years later. It involves an agreement between the Tories and a Labour politician.
Tony Benn described the passage of the Bill as a coup d'etat by a political class who did not believe in popular sovereignty. I do believe in our sovereignty, which is why I want the European Communities Act 1972 repealed.
PHILIP WARREN, Gosforth, Newcastle
Christians in Britain under attack too
MIDDLE East Christians put at risk by New Labour's flawed policy on Iraq", spouts the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. Christians in Britain too are under attack while he jaunts around the globe, much like Blair, doing more harm than good most likely, while Britain drifts into being a secular state with Christians in the minority.
NORMAN WALL, Wallsend, North Tyneside
Sign petition against these charges
IT could cost taxpayers in Tyne and Wear alone an extra pounds 120 a year each to mirror London's level of subsidy for buses, warned Martin Harris, the commercial director of Go North East ("Record of Go North East defended", Voice of the North, October 24, 2006).
We are already paying road fund tax, tax on new cars, tax on repairs, on motor insurance, many are paying a parking fee and to top all this, there are petrol and diesel charges.
As a protest against these new charges, we are urging taxpayers to sign a petition against them. You can find this at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/notolls/
STAN SMITH, South Shields, Northumberland
Bush/Blair war has slaughtered 650,000
AND so the year 2006 came to its end with the state-sanctioned execution of Saddam Hussein, one of the world's worst tyrants.
But will it lead to a "happy new year" in 2007 for the people supposedly "liberated" from his dictatorship?
It seems unlikely.
Saddam Hussein's execution changes nothing in Iraq.
His death is just one more to add to the 650,000 slaughtered by the Bush/Blair war.
In the 24 hours before he was hanged, dozens of Iraqis died violent deaths. Six American soldiers and one British soldier were killed.
This carnage will continue and worsen for every day that the US/UK occupation of Iraq continues.
Saddam Hussein's trial had nothing to do with justice and everything to do with trying to justify an illegal war after the event.
As the father of Red Cap Simon Miller, one of six Royal Military Police murdered three years ago, said: "The whole thing is an absolute farce. The trial was a show and the man should not have been executed until he was tried for all his crimes throughout the regime.
"But then I believe it would have come out in court that some of the weapons Saddam had were supplied from Western countries.
"They have not been brought to justice and neither has Tony Blair for leading this country into war on a lie."
The greatest indictment of the occupation ( which George Bush and Tony Blair said would bring liberation from Saddam Hussein ( is that polls show 90% of Iraqis think the country was better under his brutal dictatorship;
71% of Iraqis want occupation troops out; 57% of Americans want troops out of Iraq ; 72% of US troops say end war now, and 61% of British people want the troops out of Iraq. …