Can we take back control?

27 March 2019

In a post yesterday I drew attention to the decision of the EU Parliament at Strasbourg to approve the proposed new copyright law (subject to its approval by the member states). This law will have widespread adverse implications for multi-national internet giants such as Google, You Tube, etc (and perhaps even for Linked In) which would be difficult to disentangle if the UK government attempted to enforce its intention to “take back control of our laws”… etc.

This morning my attention was drawn to two more decisions made by the EU Parliament with equally wide-ranging effects. The first, to impose speed limiting devices on all new vehicles sold in Europe from 2022, has according to a BBC news report already been accepted by HMG. As most cars built or assembled in the EU are intended for sale there it would be awkward, and rather counter-intuitive, if a UK government were to try and insist that all cars sold in the UK had such devices removed.

The final decision is that to abandon changing the clock by one hour in Spring and Autumn each year from 2021, allowing each nation state to decide whether to stay on permanent standard (winter) or summer time. As Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is quoted as saying :
“…there is no applause when EU law dictates that Europeans have to change the clocks twice a year.
“Clock-changing must stop. Member states should themselves decide whether their citizens live in summer or winter time.”

However, MEPs and the Commission stressed that states must co-ordinate their choices, to minimise the risk of economic disruption from a patchwork of different time systems. Were the UK to ignore this change and Ireland, as an EU member, to adopt it then further unwelcome confusion could be created on the Irish border.

Three very different issues with considerable implications for how we go about our business in an inter-connected world, yet where is the scope for successful unilateral action on the fringe? Repeat after me : “We will take back control…”

Graham Sinclair

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