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European Union

Quite so, quite so

British shoppers are being denied cheaper goods from the US under a controversial EU law that Brexiteers are urging ministers to scrap.

Eurosceptic MPs have been calling on Downing Street to include European trademark rules in a planned bonfire of Brussels red tape over the summer.

British businesses are banned from selling legitimate branded goods such as clothing, cosmetics and electronics if they have already been placed on the market in a country outside the EU.

The rule means that a UK shop cannot source stock from wholesalers in countries like the US and Canada even though prices there are typically cheaper.

There is indeed that ban on grey imports. Which means producers can do that market segmentation thing – which is another way of saying they can protect themselves from competition, charge higher prices, in certain markets.

Shouldn’t be allowed, oughta be a law about it. Unfortunately the law we’ve got about it is the EU one – Livi Strauss was the test casae – which specifically allows it.

#And yes, this is the point of Brexit. We’ve now the ability to kill off those bad laws we got pressured into through compromises. So, let’s get rid of those bad laws.

Quite right too

Orkney considering becoming part of Norway

If Brexit is valid – the idea of asking people what they’d like to do that is – then so is Scots Indy. And also Orkney indy.

That’s just basic logic.

Now, when Bath gets to vote independence from Twerton, that’s when you’ll really see the landslide vote.

Yes, but, yes, but

The introduction of the post-Brexit health and safety quality mark has been described by the chief executive of the Fire Industry Association as a farce that “makes absolutely zero sense”.

Ian Moore, who leads the trade body for fire safety in the UK, said replacing the European Union’s CE mark with the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark “makes zero difference to increasing the quality of the products”. He added: “It doesn’t add any value whatsoever; it’s just bureaucracy and will cost the fire industry millions of pounds.”

The association represents more than a thousand UK manufacturers of fire safety equipment, most of which are small and medium-sized enterprises.

The government postponed the introduction of the post-Brexit product safety regime for a third time at the end of last year, giving businesses until the end of 2024 to replace the EU’s CE mark.

Sure, that’s all true of the UKCA. But here’s the secret – it was all true of the CE before that. It’s a piece of bureaucratic paper. Fill out the form correctly, pay the fee, get the mark. That’s it and that’s all it ever has been.

It’s all only ever been tossery.

So, Tories, to action!

Sir Keir Starmer would lower trade barriers with the European Union within 18 months of entering Downing Street under Labour’s plans to recast relations with the Continent if it is elected.

The Labour leader wants to reach new agreements to make it easier to trade food, medicines and animals in a push to change the deal struck by Boris Johnson in 2020.

The approach would make it easier for European farmers to sell their products into the UK – though, likewise, British farmers would find it easier to export into the bloc.

Why not just abolish all the import restrictions right now?

After all, we do, post-Brexit, control those import restrictions…..

How interesting

It was at least a victory of sorts for Ryanair, and for its pugnacious boss Michael O’Leary. Last week, it won a victory against the established giants of the aviation industry when the European Court of Justice ruled that the billions offered by the German government to Lufthansa during the height of the Covid pandemic were effectively illegal.

And these are the people we should rejoin in political union, is it? The people who flout their own laws?

Err, yes, they will

It also promises on its website the “opportunity to earn €1,995 to €2,480 per month” after taxes – which is about £1,750 to £2,200, just over the average wage in the UK. However, information gathered with the help of the FNV trade union confederation, based in the Netherlands, suggests many drivers are earning well below the minimum wage in the countries in which they are making deliveries.

If you work for a Lithuanian firm then you get paid Lithuanian wages.


Girteka is legally able to pay the minimum wage for Lithuania where it is based – which is €5.14 (£4.53) an hour – despite drivers spending most of their time elsewhere.


Think of it the other way. You deliver from Germany to Romania – your pay changes as you cross the border(s)?

UnHerd aren’t necessarily the brightest folk

Does Europe need to split?

We’ve known the answer to that for 60 years at least, ever since Peter Simple opined upon it. Split down to 27 different countries would be a good start, we could add a few more for luck – Flanders, Wallonia for example, the United Provinces might like a little more independence, the Mezzogiorno would do much better divorced from those hard working Germans in the north and so on.

But as Mr. Simple pointed out, what we really need to bring back is the Holy Roman Empire. Plus the Angevin Kingdom. Real decentralisation that is…..

Great, innit?

It blandly states that some 3,000 to 4,000 statutes passed by parliament over half a century of Britain’s EU membership must now be rewritten by ministers, not parliament, or they will lapse at “sunset” on 31 December this year.

Get on with it then.

Must be Brexit

“Breaking” America has been the goal of young British musicians since the days of Beatlemania, but that dream is being dashed. Hundreds of emerging artists could be affected by plans to hike visa fees by 250% – and music industry executives have criticised ministers for failing to act.

The US immigration service wants to raise visa costs from $460 (£385) to $1,615 (£1,352) alongside other changes that artists and their managers say would make it almost impossible for anyone but the biggest stars to perform in the US.

Artists already struggling with Brexit red tape and the impact of the pandemic lockdowns are also being affected by inflation, with a 40% rise in the cost of touring, according to the Music Managers Forum (MMF) and the Featured Artists Coalition (Fac).

The MMF and Fac have relaunched Let the Music Move (#LetTheMusicMove), a campaign that began in 2021 to fight the effects of post-Brexit trade arrangements, which are still hampering musicians. Trucking firms that transport music equipment have had to register as EU companies, and crew cannot work in the EU for more than 90 days out of every 180. Many firms left the industry during the pandemic.

Annabella Coldrick, the MMF’s chief executive, said a survey of her members last week revealed that 84% had acts planning to tour the US. Of those, 70% would be unable to do so with the proposed fee increase, while 20% said they would delay.

Isn’t it lovely how they imply that Brexit is causing these American problems?

But why?

Factories in the Welsh town stopped making the crumbly, white cheese in 1995 following concerns over new European legislation that made it illegal to take delivery of unpasteurised milk in metal churns.

Assuming that that reason is correct. Why on Earth would anyone institute a form of government that tried to rule 500 million people in that level of detail? Well, other than giving every Fat Contollerish anal retentive something to do with their lives?

Lordy, they can’t even get this right

The export ban covers European “bidets, lavatory pans, flushing cisterns and similar sanitary ware”, according to diplomats. It was brought in last summer, but has only just been reported.

“The flushing toilet has done more for civilisation than any other single invention,” another European diplomat told The Telegraph.

“So by restricting exports, we are merely bringing Russia’s technological advancement in line with the state of its civilisation.”

Har, Har, very cute diplomatic joke. But of course the flushing toilet hasn’t done anything for civilisation at all. The function and value is little different from the gazunder.

The valuable part of the system is the piping that takes it all away thus saving the problems of the Gardy Loo from the top floor window.

It’s sewers, not toilets, that matter.

A charming, charming, delusion

Why Ursula von der Leyen is the ‘world’s most powerful woman’
Caroline de Gruyter

The president of the European Commission has earned the title bestowed on her by Forbes magazine

Now, this has long been an aim of policy, that then German defence minister should be the most powerful person around. We’ve had several multi-year and international loud discussions about whether this would be so.

But actual power? This is someone sitting atop a bureaucracy trying to run 500 million people in detail – the sort of detail that tries to regulate the energy consumption of vacuum cleaners. There’s not, in fact, much power there. There’s an awful lot of pulling on levers but they tend not to be connected to anything very much…..

Seems so, really

Historically, many small European states gave extraordinary rights to their nobles and these have been preserved in the constitutional structure of the EU for its lackeys. Such important personages cannot be expected to follow the same laws as those they rule.

So who are we running the place for?

With a booming black economy and the highest number of small businesses in Europe, cash is still very much king in Italy and Giorgia Meloni’s new right-wing coalition wants to keep it that way.

While the rest of Europe hurtles towards a cashless society, cash-dependent Italy is stubbornly resisting.

Meloni’s newly installed government has put forward proposals to help the country’s backbone of small businesses by prolonging the lifespan of cash. In the process, she is locking horns with the EU and her own central bank, who complain high cash usage is fuelling the black economy and enabling tax dodging.

The economy’s the economy, whether white, grey (tax dodging) or black (illegal). It’s the accumulation of what tens of million of people do, wish to do and how they do it and wish to.

Demanding that it all be white so that the bureaucracy can take its vigorish off the top is to put the interests of the bureaucracy above those of the people.

How fun that we’ve the far-right neo-fascists arguing for the people, the EU for the bureaucrats.


An EU-funded study found evidence of widespread criminal, risky and delinquent behaviour among the 16-19 age group in nine European countries including the UK.

A survey of 8,000 young people found that one in four have tracked or trolled someone online, one in eight have engaged in online harassment, one in 10 have engaged in hate speech or hacking, one in five have engaged in sexting and one in three have engaged in digital piracy. It also found that four out of 10 have watched pornography.

Teens are being teens and no doubt the EU will now pass laws trying to stop them being so.


The EU’s grand success with computing projects

Prokect Quaero was only the beginning of the massive success:

After spending €387,000 (£332,500) on creating a virtual world to promote the EU’s “global gateway” development projects, officials hoped to introduce young people to the website with a special “gala” night of “music and fun” .

“Are you ready to party?” asked the invitation to the event on Tuesday night.

Only a handful of people, appearing as avatars, turned up.

“I’m here at the ‘gala’,” tweeted Vince Chadwick, a journalist for Devex, a website providing news for the development and NGO sector. “After initial bemused chats with the roughly five other humans who showed up, I am alone.”

Good thing we have left, isn’t it.

Simple answer to this question

Brexit added almost £6bn to UK food bills in the two years to the end of 2021, affecting poorest households the most, research has found.

Hmm. That’s bad.

Nikhil Datta, assistant professor of economics at Warwick University and a co-author of the study, said: “The policy implications are stark: non-tariff barriers are an important impediment to trade that should be a first-order concern, at least on a par with tariffs, for policymakers interested in low consumer prices.”

Oh. So this isn’t, in fact, really Brexit at all. It’s the insane insistence on having border checks. Simply declare that anything legal in the EU is also legal in the UK an be done with the lot of it.

You know, free trade?

Who in buggery are you?

Elon Musk has disbanded Twitter’s entire office in Brussels after a row over the policing of the social network’s content in the bloc.

Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, who were in charge of Twitter’s digital policy in Europe, left the company last week, according to the Financial Times.

There’s no particular reason why the moderation of Twitter – or any other operational matter – requires an office in Brussels. What does require an office there is lobbying the EU. Not having that office means that lobbying the EU isn;t worth the time or cost.

That’s what hurts:

Shortly afterwards, European commissioner Thierry Breton issued a curt reminder of the EU’s content-moderation laws, saying: “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules.”

“Who the fuck are you and why do I care about your rules?”