IAN Murray wrote (The End of the Week, April 4) that we British nowadays find ourselves “having to kowtow to a few laws passed by a foreign Parliament”.

That foreign Parliament of the European Union, Ian tells us, passes laws which are only few in number anyway.

So does it pass laws like our Parliament in Westminster, where MPs introduce Bills which other MPs can vote to be Acts of Parliament?

Well no, not really.

No EU laws have ever started in the EU Parliament, which called itself an Assembly until 1962, when our Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wanted to join the Common Market.

The EU constitution says that only the EU Commission can propose laws, and only the EU Council of Ministers can make those proposals into law.

The EU Parliament must be consulted by the Council of Ministers for its opinion on proposed legislation.

But that council votes in secret, and is free to ignore any opinion from the EU Parliament.

The Treaty of Lisbon [2009] was supposed to have given the EU Parliament more influence with the council. But few people know how the treaty does that, as the council alone still enacts EU law.

The huge volume of proposed EU law makes effective scrutiny of it by ministers impractical.

So the COREPER bureaucrats who supervise the Council of Ministers routinely present that council with a communique of its decisions for the press, before it meets to make those decisions in secret.

In practice the Eurocrats of the Commission and COREPER (the committe of permanent representatives in the EU) make EU law between them.

The EU Parliament plays little part in creating EU laws.

It should go back to calling itself an Assembly, which is an honest name for what it is. It is an assembly of elected courtiers seeking favours for their people back home, from unelected Eurocrats who sit on the throne of EU power in Brussels.

Ralph Prothero, of Southampton