Hannan Ten Bombshells? Or Not!

The Daily Mail continues to publish lies and misrepresentations about the UK’s membership of the EU. A misguided Brexiter friend of mine posted a link to this article on Facebook. I took a closer look.

1. Banning hair-dryers

From the independent Full Fact comes this article, First they came for the vacuum cleaners: will it be kettles next?

The EU is currently in the process of determining which types of product to prioritise for environmental improvements. Hairdryers, lawn mowers, and electric kettles are three categories out of 29 that could face restrictions, and the EU aims to choose about 20 as priorities.

We don’t yet know if the EU will enact any regulations affecting these products, never mind what they’d look like, although its preliminary investigations on some items provide us with clues.” (12 May 2016)

Yes, a ban has been implemented on high-power vacuum cleaners, but if you bother to read the small print, you will discover that the objective is not just to reduce wattage but to make vacuums more efficient at collecting dust at lower power. Your carpet will be just as clean in the same time. 9

2. A Bigger Budget

It is true there are unpaid bills, but I haven’t found much source material to form a view.

3. Open Borders

The EU already has rules that allow existing members to impose restrictions on free movement of labour from new members for up to 7 years already. We would have had fewer migrants from Romania, if Tony Blair had activated this option. In any event, people cannot just turn up and get in unless they can support themselves, and they can be denied entry for several other reasons.

People coming into the UK must have a national passport. The influx of immigrants into, for example, Germany will not get passports just for getting in. It takes 8 years to get German citizenship and includes a bunch of other criteria than just residence. The UK is not obliged to accept any refugees from the other member states.

The UK is not part of, and almost certainly never will be, part of the Schengen area.

The greater part of immigration is from non-EU countries, which is fully under the control of the Government.

4. More Bail-outs

The negotiation has secured an agreement that non-Eurozone countries will not be liable for any bailouts.

5. Deeper Integration

Again the renegotiation agreement rules out the UK being committed to ever closer union. Any further transfer of power to Brussels must be agreed by Parliament and a referendum.

The Five Presidents report is a complete red herring as that is related to Eurozone countries.

6. Human Rights

The unfortunate thing about universal human rights is that they are universal, and you cannot pick and choose who get them. The EU Charter of Fundamental Human Rights is based on the European Convention on Human Rights that the UK helped write.

The Leave camp continues to make untrue claims about how the UK cannot deport criminals because of the ECJ. From Leave camp makes “criminal” error on deportations:

Vote Leave has produced a dossier of criminals it says “the European Court has prevented us deporting”. Ramping up the fear-mongering, it added: “These cases include offenders convicted of murder, rape, robbery and drug trafficking.”

The snag is that, in each of the 50 cases, it was British tribunals that stopped deportation. Not the European Court.

7. Art Import Licences

I don’t know anything about this, but whatever changes are made will apply to the whole of the EU. That an artist’s heirs might benefit as rich buggers continue to drive the price of a piece of artwork doesn’t seem particularly outrageous. I couldn’t find out anything more, but I’m surprised that the average Kipper would be worried about this issue.

8. Ports

Hannan wrote:

The EU wants to oblige every port to have more than one provider for its internal services, such as mooring, dredging and unloading.

I haven’t spent much time looking at this, but it didn’t take long to find out that dredging and pilotage are not included in the proposals for greater liberalisation. 5

9. Quotas for Online TV

This seems like molehill-mountain hyperbole.

From European quotas for video on demand:

The proposals include provisions to protect young viewers, including a requirement that programmes that may impair the physical, mental or moral development are online made available, whether by broadcast or on demand, in such a way as to ensure that minors will not normally hear or see them. Particularly violent or pornographic material would require measures such as age verification or pin codes.

Online services like Netflix already offer a lot of European programming. Much of this currently comes from the United Kingdom.

The European Commission recognises that over a fifth of the films offered by Netflix and iTunes are already classed as European productions. Across 75 video on demand catalogues the share of films classified as European is around 27%, rising to 30% across 16 online video subscription services.”

Smaller players and specialist services would be exempt from the proposed quota requirements.”

10. European Army

This is more total bullshit. From The hunt for an EU army on Full Fact:

Member countries would have a veto on any such plans [for a European army], so the UK would only take part if it chose to.”

The EU doesn’t have the legal power to act in this area unless member governments actively give their permission.”

Unlike in other areas of EU decision-making, the European Commission can’t propose laws about security and defence, and any decisions in these areas must be made unanimously. That means that the UK effectively has a veto.”

UK law also states that no such common EU defence powers can be handed from the UK to the EU without the approval of parliament and a referendum on the decision. “

Ten bombshells? More like damp squibs, and clearly not kept secret. Daniel Hannan has lied and lied again about the EU.

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