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Luke Stanley: The hypocrisy of the EU’s demand for a female quota in the boardroom


As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher becoming Leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, the EU is trying to undermine the success of the Iron Lady – as well as all accomplished women. The EU is forcing through positive discrimination policies. Clearly when it comes to equality, the Eurocrats take the “do as we say, not as we do” approach.

EU legislation, currently going through the formality of being ‘rubber-stamped’ by Westminster, is set to force Britain to implement gender quotas, ensuring 40 per cent of board members of businesses in Britain are women by 2020. Shockingly though, over in Brussels, fewer than one in every three EU Commissioners are women!

Discrimination, whether positive discrimination or otherwise, should have no place in 21st Century Britain. Appointing women on anything other than merit completely undermines the equality of the sexes by discriminating against men because of their gender.

Moreover, positive discrimination devalues the achievements of women who actually do rise to the top on their own merits. Can you imagine Mrs Thatcher being the most successful Prime Minister of the 20th Century if she had been selected to go to Number 10 simply because of her gender

Would Angela Merkel be the most prominent national leader in Europe – winning three consecutive Reichstag elections – if her party had just thought it was “about time” she be chosen merely because she was a woman?

Would Christine Lagarde have been ranked as the 5th most powerful woman in the world last year if she was selected as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund just to fill a gender quota?

Of course we cannot even expect an assortment of such out-of-touch unelected EU bureaucrats to understand such things. They are often only employed in the EU after failing to be elected in their own national parliaments. How can we even expect them to understand the nature of a meritocracy? The simple fact the EU Commission itself consists overwhelmingly of male commissioners is hypocrisy of the highest order.

After becoming “President-select” of the European Commission in August, Jean-Claude Juncker “insisted” several national leaders of the 28 Member States – who by the way all pay huge fees to be members of this failed institution – send female candidates to be appointed.  Guess what? Despite his grandstanding, they ignored him – including our Prime Minister, David Cameron. Juncker has as few women in his Commission team as his predecessor José Manuel Barroso; just nine out of the 28 Commissioners are women. And of those nine – none have been appointed as one of Juncker’s three Vice-Presidents!  We at Get Britain Out rest our case.

The EU Commission, which incidentally has never had a woman President since its inception in 1958, falls far short of promoting true equality – equality of opportunity. Instead the EU imposes a shallow, superficial form of equality with the help of “quotas”. This only serves to demean women.

We all long for the day when there are an equal amount of men and women on boards. But imposing arbitrary statistical uniformity instead of encouraging true equality is definitely not the way to go about this important subject.

Britain needs to move forwards, and towards real gender equality – away from the EU’s perversion of equality. We need to, and must, Get Britain Out of the EU.

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Luke Stanley
Luke Stanley
Luke Stanley is a Research Executive at Get Britain Out

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