Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The EU Betrays Its Ineptitude Again

So, there we all were, thinking that we were in this disastrous EU thing to realise utopian ideals such as freedom of movement and trade throughout Europe, when it turns out that that's not the case at all.

Euro MPs want to cut the amounts of cigarettes and alcohol that can legally be brought into Britain tax-free by imposing stricter guidelines on what constitutes personal consumption.

The new definition of personal consumption would halve the amount of booze and cut the current permitted legal level of cigarettes by almost 90 per cent.

You see, this is the problem with utopian ideals. They just don't work except in the minds of optimistic dreamers and computer simulations. A free market only works if it is just that. Free. Once forms of protectionism such as this are brought into play, the free market is rendered obsolete. How can it then be a free market?

So here's the chronology. We used to have limits on importing goods that were swept away by the EU along with a vast tranche of our national laws in favour of EU ones. Now, the import limits are back but our autonomy isn't returned likewise. Seems very much to me like we've been conned.

But who is doing the conning?

These are minimums, meaning that Britain could decide to adopt more lenient guidelines, though the Government has chosen to follow the EU line in the past. 'Britain could well use the opportunity to lower its own guidance levels,' said a European parliament spokesman.

Therefore it's up to our Government to decide if they want to take this crap or not. Great. Except this Labour administration is as subservient to the EU as a Yorkshire Terrier to its abusive owner, however many times it gets kicked in the family jewels, so is hardly likely on past form to protect its citizens. Most especially seeing as this will dovetail nicely with their current temperance movement against smokers and drinkers alike.

The imminent introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes, for example, coupled with the advertised promise of massive hikes in duty, would almost certainly lead to an increase in the profits of P&O and Eurotunnel as Brits swarm over or under the sea to be treated with more respect. This move helps Labour enormously and will doubtless be followed by endless spin declaring it a Europe-wide phenomena (just as they currently parrot, loudly and often, the term 'Global Crisis' in relation to finance) and nothing to do with Labour's declared war on their own people. Of course, the fact that Labour MEPs uniformly voted for this won't be prominent in the press releases that will emanate from Millbank.

The reasoning is a top drawer dismantling of the truth too ...

The parliament said guidelines on personal consumption were needed to avoid 'legal uncertainty and confusion' and to make sure shoppers did not use booze cruises to avoid paying excise duties.

Err ... I thought we were paying excise duty when we bought on the continent, it's just lower than over here. These were your rules, EU. This isn't avoidance, it's just paying the duty at a lower rate. Competition amongst the lovey-dovey Europe, wasn't that the point?

'Free movement in the single market cannot serve as a pretext for avoiding the payment of excise duties, particularly when these respond to public health requirements,' the parliament said by way of justification.

Uh-huh. Now I get it, when these respond to public health requirements. So it's all about control again. It's also interesting that public health is no longer an EU ideal, but now a requirement!

Any politician will be familiar with the saying "you can't please all of the people all of the time", and that is very true of one nation. It is exponentially true when dealing with a community of 27 (or however many, I've lost count) countries, all with differing customs and lifestyles. Most of all, a free market is essentially compromised by varying levels of taxation between trading members.

The solution is to let the free market decide a taxation/duty level that each member is happy with, or not have the free market at all. The worst possible situation is what the EU have put on the table with this nonsense, a free market that is not free but has individual and differing restrictions in varying member states, to counteract ... individual and differing levels of duty in varying member states. What a mess.

When will these EU fantasists grow up and realise that their pubescent idealist nonsense is, quite frankly, unworkable?

No comments: