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Wed Nov 14, 2018, 03:44 PM

Brexit : Myths (Fake News) about the EU, LONG before Trump [View all]

Euromyths A-Z index


Let’s quit EU and link up with America

October 26th, 1998
Number of views : 3611
The Sun, October 1998

We could … get out from under the deluge of idiotic Euro directives by withdrawing from political union. We could then join the renamed North American Free Trade Association.

The single market operates on the basis of enforceable rules – regulations and directives which have established the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons in the EU. Getting out from under the directives means getting out of the single market. This is not in the UK’s economic interest – as the Sun itself points out.
The EU has already negotiated substantial trade liberalisation with its largest trading partner – the United States. Joining the current Northern American Free Trade Agreement would actually represent a step backwards for UK companies trading with the United States for example in the recognition of product safety standards.
HM Treasury estimates that 50 per cent of UK overall foreign trade is with the European Union. Almost 60 per cent of UK foreign trade in goods is with the other 14 Member States. This myth is potentially damaging for Britain’s trade with both of its most important trading partners.

EU ‘Bans Boozing’#

February 21st, 2005
Number of views : 7829

Clampdown on off-licences (The Sun 21 February 2005)

EU health chiefs are drawing up plans to close thousands of British off-licences… The proposal is said to be part of a drive to curb alcohol abuse across Europe. Other measures include a Monday to Friday ban on off-sales and huge booze price hikes through tax rises. A blueprint masterminded by EU health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou also contains moves to control sales through a state-run monopoly…

EU’s crazy bid to bar weekday sales (Daily Star 21 February 2005)
Supermarkets and off licences will only be allowed to sell booze at weekends under secret plans by barmy Brussels bureaucrats. A leaked document reveals EU chiefs want to ban take-away sales of alcohol from Monday-Friday in an over-the-top clampdown on binge drinking. They also plan to raise the tax on drink sold in pubs.

The EU has no plans, nor secret documents proposing to clamp down on off licenses by closing them or banning Monday-Friday sales. The EU does not have, nor does it seek, the power to propose such measures which are a matter for national governments. At the request of all EU health ministers, including the UK’s, the EU is looking into ways to reduce the harm caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, particularly among young people. The document referred to in these articles is a working paper, not adopted by the Commission, which seeks to draw views from the drinks industry and European countries (including the UK) on possible ways to combat excessive drinking. It contains a review of measures in place in different member states.

Bananas and Brussels

September 21st, 1994
Number of views : 18766

Myth: Curved bananas have been banned by Brussels bureaucrats, with shops ordered not to sell fruit which is too small or abnormally bent.

Sources: The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Express (21 September 1994)

Truth: Yes … and no. Curved bananas have not been banned. In fact, as with the supposed banning of curved cucumbers, the Commission regulation classifies bananas according to quality and size for the sake of easing the trade of bananas internationally.

Quality standards are necessary in order that people buying and ordering bananas can rest assured that what they are getting lives up to their expectations. Individual EU member states have tended to have their own standards, as has the industry (whose standards are often very stringent). The European Commission was asked by the Council of Ministers and the industry to prepare a draft regulation laying down EU quality standards, and this has been the subject of consultation for some time now. As such it represents a consensus position. The following points should be noted however:

1) These are minimal rules, applied solely to green, unripe bananas, rather than those destined for the processing industry.
2) These standards should improve the quality of bananas produced within the Community. They should thus be able to command a higher price in the Community markets. This should also help reduce Community aid and therefore relieve pressure on the Community budget.
3) Far from being an interference in trade these norms should facilitate it throughout the Community

Traditional Barristers wig to be scrapped

April 7th, 2002
Number of views : 3699

Don’t let the EU take away Rumpole’s wig

The death knell is being sounded for the barrister’s trusty wig as Lord Chief Justice Woolf submits proposals for the more modern ‘Euro-gown’ to be used in British courts. His plan has been much derided by traditionalists …. Take away Rumpole’s wig and it may be another step down the primrose path to Euro-trials.
(The Mail on Sunday, 7 April 2002, page 63)

The headline writers of this Mail on Sunday story clearly did not even bother to spend the time reading their own copy. If they had done so, they would have realised that this proposal has nothing whatsoever to do with the European Union. It may be that Lord Chief Justice Woolf has made certain proposals for the use of wigs and gowns, but the suggestion that the EU is somehow responsible is completely incorrect and misleading.

EU wants to purge the Queen from our passports (Daily Mail, 10 September 2007)

Queen may be dropped from UK passports (Daily Telegraph,10 September 2007)

The EU has no intention to “drop” or “purge” the Queen from UK passports, as the Mail and the Telegraph suggest.There has been talk about including in passports a passage on all EU citizens’ right to consular protection outside the EU but there is currently no legal proposal to that effect. And under no circumstances would this replace any existing texts or symbols in passports, including references to Her Majesty.
EU nationals make some 180 million trips each year to third countries and this number is likely to rise. A Eurobarometer survey from summer 2006 showed that half of the EU citizens expected to travel to a non-EU country in the next three years. Also, events such as the 2004 Tsunami catastrophe in South East Asia, the 2005 terrorist attack in Bali and the civil war in Lebanon in 2006 showed the shortcomings under the current situation. Thousands of EU citizens suddenly found themselves in need of urgent help in a third country in which their member states were not represented.
The Commission wants to make sure EU nationals are not stranded if when abroad. This will not lead to replacing texts or symbols in passports but providing EU citizens with more information about their rights to consular protection even if their own government is not represented in their country of destination.

Yoghurt to be renamed

March 5th, 2006
Number of views : 2849

Brit yoghurt – EU says we have to call it Fermented Milk Pudding (Sunday Mirror 5 March 2006)

British yoghurt will be renamed “fermented milk pudding” – if Brussels has its way. Under plans being discussed by EU officials, only yoghurts made using the sour-tasting bacteria according to traditional Bulgarian recipes will be called “yoghurt”.

There are no plans to rename yoghurt as heat fermented milk pudding. This is a recycled story, once again: Discussions in 2003 centred around a harmonised definition of yogurt to make trading easier for manufacturers across the EU, including those from the UK who were unable to sell some of their products in France. However, no official proposals were presented at the time and none are intended.

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