Tuesday, 29 June 2010

A Myth

EU politics is complicated and dull - very dull. I only take an 'interest' because I want the UK to remove itself from the supranational, corrupt and wholly undemocratic structure. One of the side effects though, of the obsession is an instinct immediately as to whether something is, or is not, the result of Brussels' regulations.

And so it proved on Sunday, from the Mail:
British shoppers are to be banned from buying eggs by the dozen under new regulations approved by the European Parliament.

For the first time, eggs and ­other products such as oranges and bread rolls will be sold by weight instead of by the number contained in a packet.

Until now, Britain has been exempt from EU regulations that forbid the selling of goods by number. But last week MEPs voted to end Britain’s deal despite objections from UK members.

The new rules will mean that instead of packaging telling shoppers a box contains six eggs, it will show the weight in grams of the eggs inside, for example 372g.

Other papers, blogs and even the BBC got stuck in with enthusiasm. However my first reaction was; yeah right! But due to other distractions I didn't have time to prove otherwise.
Fortunately the excellent, (sadly pro-EU Blog) Nosemonkey has the details:
Indeed, all you have to do is read the proposed regulation itself (warning: PDF) – which makes precisely no mention of outlawing selling by numbers.

In fact, quite the opposite – Annex VIII makes explicit exceptions for foods “which are sold by number”. (This only slightly amended in the final version, despite the apparent claim in the BBC article that such a get-out had been rejected.)

He goes on to link to this:

Selling eggs by the dozen will NOT be illegal under the terms of the amendments adopted by the European Parliament to EU food labelling proposals. Labels will still be able to indicate the number of food items in a pack, whether of eggs, bread rolls or fish fingers. To suggest that British shoppers will not be allowed to buy a dozen eggs in the future is wrong.

It's greatly frustrating that the media in general ignores the systematical damage the EU does to our country by failing to highlight the relevant EU Directives, even when pointed out in their comments or letters pages, but chooses to go big with a story that can easily be dismissed. It undermines the case.

A not so recent episode of the BBC programme of QI illustrates this point precisely. Hosted by left-wing Stephen Fry, they had a session on so-called barmy EU laws which weren't. The implication clearly meant was that any criticism of the EU is misguided:

The Daily Mail has helped EU-enthusiasts once again in their mistaken criticism, and has also helped the Tories by allowing them to portray themselves as tough on the EU, despite the fact that the article is bollocks:

An attempt by Brussels to stop British shoppers buying eggs by the dozen will be blocked, ministers promised yesterday.

European regulations that aim to ban the sale of a dozen eggs, six bread rolls or four apples go against common sense, they said.

The rapid coalition pledge that food will stay on sale in the traditional way follows a move by the European Commission to undermine the use of longstanding and universally understood non-metric measures.

It's a fight on two fronts.

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