But herein lies Defra\’s amazing error. The legislation it depends on to make this claim, regulation 244/2009, refers quite specifically to \”household lamps\”. So the EU has not made it illegal to \”place on the market\” bulbs which are not intended for household use. Defra thus has no power to ban the import or sale of incandescent bulbs for use in shops, offices, factories, outhouses or anywhere which isn\’t a \”household\”. And how are shops to decide, when asked for such bulbs, where a customer wishes to use them?
EU legislation is so piecemeal and complex (deliberately so) that it can be extremely difficult to work out exactly what is the legal position at any one time.
But it wouldn\’t surprise me at all to find that the above is true.
And if it is, it just takes us back to a corollary of Hayek\’s old socialist computation problem: a modern economy is so complex that intervention in it is impossible to manage in the level of detail that the planners aim at.