Brussels still rules

One of the extraordinary things since the vote is the enthusiasm of the UK establishment to carry on implementing everything the EU sends us and to wish to be even more rigorous in applying EU rules, when many continental countries take a much more relaxed approach.  I see we are  being taken to the ECJ for alleged non compliance with the clean air rules and over EU citizenship rights   and we are busily putting into UK law various EU measures.

One above all shows just how much control Brussels exerts over us. That is the General Data Protection Regulation. This directly acting EU law comes into force on May 25th. It has led to months of work and much opportunity for consultants and lawyers, as businesses scramble to ensure they are fully compliant. Most are already careful in the way they keep and handle data about people they deal with, but need to demonstrate they handle it in a specified way under the new law. I have no problem with the aim of the legislation, but this blockbuster of a law requires specific bureaucratic processes to handle data to be sure that a business that does handle data well is seen to do so.

This of course includes MP offices. We are often sent sensitive details about a person’s job or income or health when people wish us to help resolve a dispute with public authorities or help them get a better deal from a branch of government. .

The House authorities sent out substantial and very  cautious advice. The Secretary of State for Culture, media and sport who is responsible for this area of law has also offered less austere advice. MPs are keen to be able to share data in order to resolve queries and complaints about government, but also keen to comply with this new law.

The government is also enacting a similar law as UK law. This  is the Bill that allowed amendments concerning the press which have been the subject of recent controversy. With or without this law the GDPR comes into effect next week. Businesses are having to contact people and firms on their mailing lists and getting consent to staying on those mailing lists. Some are worried they will lose contact with large numbers of people they want to talk and who may wish to hear from them. Is this a helpful good idea?

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156 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    It GDPR a good idea? No it is yet another expensive sledge hammer to miss a nut. Another job creation scheme for essentially parasitic jobs. It inconveniences businesses hugely and kills real jobs and productivity.

    Meanwhile Theresa May has actually done something sound, elevating the excellent Peter Lilley to the Lords. Is this the first sensible thing she has done since becoming PM?

    Listening to Any Question it is hard not to conclude that Lammy is (not to the posters liking ed), but then we get Lindsey German to make him seem relatively benign! How do the BBC choose people. Nearly always 5 to 1 remains to Brexit supporters on the BBC.

    Thank goodness for Jacob Rees-Mogg. Good to that Owen Patterson is on the mend and back in Parliament after his very nasty riding accident.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      too!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Can we have another 300 or so Peter Lilley types elevated to the Lords please?

      • Jagman84
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        I’d rather have just one as Prime Minister, thank you!

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Are you willing to pay the £90,000 per day (plus expenses and subsidised lunches) this would cost out of your own pocket, or do you expect the rest of us to contribute?

        • APL
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          Peter Parsons: ” .. or do you expect the rest of us to contribute?”

          Because given the choice, I’d rather not.

        • Lifelogic.
          Posted May 20, 2018 at 5:09 am | Permalink

          The marginsl cost per additional Lord is no anywhere near as high as that. If we get a proper clean brexit the price is certainly worth paying and yes I would pay. But we should scrap the subsidies lunches (most are too fat anyway) and indeed the daily tax free allowances. Interestingly HMRC allow you to pay staff just £5 scale rate per meal when travelling for work before taxing it, so £300 per day tax free is a bit generous.

    • eeyore
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t all such hyper-regulation just to assist large established corporations by deterring competition from small outfits that can’t afford that sort of silly gold-plating? Same with luddite unions demanding endless health and safety regs just to keep their members in jobs.

      • Richard Elsy
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        I had the dubious pleasure of working/investing in the amusement machine sector as marketing director for some seven years or so in a start-up business with a super new product and absolutely no previous experience of the sector. The task of building a useful database of the several hundred businesses in the sector was very hard work. Getting those businesses on board and then pay for the services was just as difficult. I imagine that the company, which I left five years ago, is now having an extraordinarily difficult and costly time in trying to get all their customers and potential customers to comply with GDPR. At a rough guess, I would say that two of the six staff will be flat out on this for several weeks and I know that this simply isn’t sustainable.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Besides the fact that Owen Paterson talks about every subject under the sun and is not the brightest I am sure you are right,

  2. hans christian ivers
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    There has been a lot of data breaches over the years including Facebook and a number of other breaches such as with the NHS and many other web-sites.

    We therefore need better data-protection whether the GDPR is the best way to implement this, can of course always be discussed , but improved protection is required

    The implementation of EU laws has always be better implemented in northern Europe than in southern Europe, this is probably more a cultural thing than a national issue.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Hans Christian Iver

      I do not believe for one minute that GDPR or any other system of regulations will stop data breaches . 99% of breaches are security hacks and cyber attacks and GDPR doesn’t do anything to help that. Its just bureaucracy and plays no part in actually protecting data . If only the EU had the faintest clue about the digital world it would help too. There are 195 countries in the world and only 27 are in the EU, anyone doing anything dodgy with data will in under 30 mins move their servers and operation to any other country they like . The EU is so far out of its depth now. Their recent attempts at anything regulatory in this area are all ludicrous VAT Moss, Mifid 2 , GDPR etc are just a nightmare of regulations design to stop small innovative businesses . Its why the EU 27 lag so far behind in the new world of digital and online services

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Libertarian,

        This is why I asked for an open debate thank you for your contribution, this seems to be catch up legislation which is the case for most governments around the World in the digital age and it is not just a symbol of the Eu trying to catch up

        • libertarian
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          hans christian ivers

          You need to get out more my friend, stop hanging around in a little backward area of the world

          You’ve confused cyber security with personal data protection, 2 completely different things. GDPR is as useful as a chocolate teapot when it comes to cyber security

          PIPEDA became law on 13 April 2000 in Canada thats 18 years ago…

          Likewise Argentina in 2000

          Brazil passed the Brazilian Internet Act in 2014

          Chile’s Act on the Protection of Personal Data, passed in 1998

          In fact most countries in the world have had the same level or similar of personal data protection for a long time.

          All the EU have done ( as they always do) is strengthen the hand of large corporations by levying massive sweeping fines for any infringement

          The EU aren’t playing catch up, the EU doesn’t have a clue about digital, its trying to stop it.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

            Libertarian,

            As always insightful and helpful but there is actually a big interconnection between the two as we have seen in recent election campaigns, however, let us not get too entrenched in technical jargon on this one and in the meantime I will follow your advise and try and get more out

      • hefner
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Whether GDPR is the best way to proceed can certainly be discussed.

        Whether, for example, a company from which I buy, say, shirts or water or gas, or travel, or financial product … needs to know anything more than my name, address, and way of payment should also be discussed. Why should I declare whether I am married, have children, when and where I was born. Often the arguments run around a need to establish the customer’s profile … for providing better services …
        The default behaviour of administrations and companies has for far too long been to collect the maximum of data even if not relevant, with Governments/ MPs completely oblivious to the problem. GDPR might be a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but such a nut certainly exists, and should be kept “under control”.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 20, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          hefner

          Interesting post. I agree why should we give companies more data than necessary

          Answer

          GDPR has nothing to say about this, its how we keep and use the data that we collect. Thats why all those numpties sending out emails about their mailing lists completely fail to understandd what GDPR is.

          You are not obliged to give anyone your data

          I just went into an office supplies shop, they asked me for email address etc. I said no. They still sold me the stuff

    • mancunius
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      No, it’s completely unnecessary and poorly drafted. Just another ‘Make life as difficult as possible for business just to show Brussels is in charge’ bit of status-signalling from the bossy, overstaffed Commission.

  3. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Yes, I have received a multitude of emails this week which quite frankly I haven’t had the time or inclination to read. Why, if we are serious about leaving the beloved EU are we still obeying everything to the last letter. I wonder if all those people driving a certain German car are responsible for the ‘dirty air’ we breathe in? Whilst living in Spain on a brand new urbanisation, we were not able to have clean drinking water from our taps in our villa. The developer had put in water meters and his wife came around to read them each month. They were not calibrated and it seemed that no two meters were set the same. She would ask for the money at the door which then went straight into her handbag. The authorities were informed on many occasions by the residents but nothing was done. Even an ex EU commissionaire lived in one of these houses but he could get no action either. We left after 5 years but it took a further 3 years before residents got their clean water provided by the official water company. None of the workforce used steel ladders or suitable footwear or safety helmets on the building site. Why do we always get fined for every little thing and why do the wimps in the government always pay it? This is why we should leave. Surely we are capable of making our own rules?

    • Andy
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      You lived in a brand new villa in Spain for five years?

      Did you exercising your right to free movement?

      A right you voted to take away from your children and grandchildren’s generations.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        Hold onto your hat , this is going to come as a shock….

        I own a house overseas …. in a country that ISN’T in the EU…. WOW how the hell did that happen?

        Are you really that deluded that you dont know that its perfectly possible to buy a home and live in most parts of the world with no problem at all. I guess you’ve never taken your kids on holiday to Florida and been inundated with real estate sales people…

        Seriously no wonder remainers are so terrified of the world they seem to lack any experience of it at all

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted May 20, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          Libertarian,

          You are brighter then drawing such dis-allocated generalisations or at least you should be

        • hefner
          Posted May 20, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          A rather funny statement … remainers are so terrified of the world … but you, libertarian, have to spend your holidays in an English-speaking country. Could it be that you never were curious enough to see what another language would feel under your tongue?

      • mancunius
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        A naive response.
        Leaving the EU will in no way prevent a grateful Spain from selling its villas to British émigrés who bring currency and purchasing power into the country.

        Rajoy would not dream to upsetting that apple-cart. Nor shall we.

        • mancunius
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          ‘dream of’

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Andy, free movement didn’t mean moving to Spain and getting hand outs left right and centre. Nor did it mean getting free health care after two years. You only got that if you could prove you had paid full contributions back home and after that you had to go private or work. If you didn’t work and pay Spanish contributions you got nothing. It didn’t mean we were housed either and we didn’t get interpreters at the schools or hospitals. You had to provide your own and you had to have lessons in schools in Spanish. We became residents there and paid our way. My husband started his own business. I don’t have a problem with immigration but I do have a problem with people coming over without jobs, housing or any means of supporting themselves expecting us to pay for it all. I am sure in some ways the Spanish authorities love us moving there with all the money we spend there and our health care once older is half paid for by the British government.

      • Simon Platt
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        I have had family (English) in Spain as far back as the 1960s. Nothing to do with the EU, obviously. I’m far from alone, of course. If you don’t know that, you oughtn’t comment.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          I discovered recently that my uncle worked on France for five years in the 60s. He tells me that their legendary bureaucracy now makes it more difficult to work there than then because they know it is an open door. Previously one just needed to demonstrate the requisite skills to be offered a job and allowed to rent a home.

          I also own a property in a country that is not in the EU. The paperwork was tiresome but surmountable which is the way it should be.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        We lived and worked in Spain way before the EU existed.
        Being so young you obviously didn’t know Andy.

        • Andy
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t say people didn’t move abroad before we joined the EU. I didn’t say people won’t move abroad afterwards.

          I simply pointed out that someone who has exercised their right to free movement had voted to take that right away from others. Lord Lawson is another such hypocrite. Big Brexiteer who lives in France.

          I don’t doubt that I can go and live in the EU post Brexit if I want to – I own property in France after all. But I also don’t doubt that it will be harder than it is now.

          You have voted to make it harder. Stop getting angry at the impact of your vote.

          Reply Lord Lawson is not as you describe, and knows he will be fine with his French home after we have left as before. Are you seriously suggesting democratic countries on the continent with the rule of law will round up all UK residents, send them home and confiscate their properties? No way, nor does international law allow such conduct. Leave voters are not anti Europe, just anti belonging to the EU

          • Edward2
            Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            There is little less bureaucracy today than decades ago when I travelled and worked in Europe.
            Airports and customs take longer now.
            Just as many forms to fill in when you go to Europe and try to live and work and drive a car there.
            Your talk of “free movement” is not all you think it is compared to pre EU days.
            PS
            I’m not even a little bit angry.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 20, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            Andy

            Maybe understanding what free movement of people and its impact is, is another one of the many things you dont understand. What part of the word CONTROL escapes you?

          • NickC
            Posted May 20, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

            Andy, In exercising “your” “right” to free movement you are depriving the natives of the country to which you move the right to decide who comes to their country, and how many. That was one of the main issues in the Referendum.

            When you can get past your bigotry that everyone who voted Leave was a “Tory hard right pensioner” and listen to some ordinary unprivileged people who are not xenophobic but don’t want to be swamped, you might understand. But I won’t hold my breath.

      • Jagman84
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        British nationals moved to Spain, to live, well before both the UK and Spain joined the EEC/EU. Free movement gives you the right to do so but upon Brexit, the Spanish can still grant us residency if THEY choose to do so. It will be similar for Spanish nationals wishing to live in the UK. In other words, like all other sovereign nations.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        He might have been better advised to opt for Australia, New Zealand or even the USA, I agree. Not such a major problem for those with the resources to buy a villa, but I doubt they’d accept an Eastern European car windscreen washer quite as readily, which we appear to.

    • Richard Evans
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      JR comment – “One above all shows just how much control Brussels exerts over us’. Only because we let them, they know we are a soft touch. It is also jobs for the non productive. What if we ignore the dictats, what are they going to do – fine us?
      And if we do not pay the fines ,will they throw us out – NEVER. They need our revenue. I have said this many times and I will repeat it once again. MAY and her establishment cohorts will sell the UK down the river. Wake up JR, you are an intelligent and decent chap. You must realize the hidden agenda?

    • Adam
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Fedupsoutherner:

      You state a strong case for UK self-govt, by people whom we support for good effort, & remove when they fail. Many of the EU standards are sloppy, as are several of its members, but we should not be. We should fulfil the obligations we have accepted, but extract ourselves from their imperative nonsense by leaving as soon as we can.

  4. mick
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    . I see we are being taken to the ECJ for alleged non compliance with the clean air rules and over EU citizenship rights and we are busily putting into UK law various EU measures.
    And of coarse we will comply with any ruling that comes out of Brussels “yes sir yes sir three bags full sir”, because that’s what the politicians have done over the decades so as to gain favour in there beloved Eu , well times are a changing we are leaving and if the Irish think they can stop us by threatening us then they are backing the wrong team, the British don’t take lightly to threats from any one, so think on Mr Varadkar and remember where a lot of your trade goes or buy a load of container ships to transport your goods to your Eu partners

    • Andy
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      The ECJ is in Luxembourg – not Brussels.

      And it only enforces laws we have signed up to.

      It’s not its fault if the British government repeatedly breaks the law.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        It enforces all EU law.
        The UK is treaty bound to uphold EU law.
        There is no choice.

      • Adam
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Andy:

        The British Govt was at fault in signing up, but Brexit empowers us to correct it.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      such a lot of hot air and threats do not help any one and it does show a degree of grandeur and ignorance at the same time, we are still negotiating , so stop rubbish

      • libertarian
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        hans christian ivers

        I totally agree with your post. Barnier, Juncker and the rest need to get their act together and stop talking hot air and nonsense

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          I am glad we agree because it happen on both sides of the Channel again and again.

      • NickC
        Posted May 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Hans, Can’t you come up with anything constructive? You know – or maybe you don’t – facts, deductions, then conclusions. You just seem to troll this site declaring everybody else is negative, talking hot air, making threats (that’s a joke given EU threats), and should “stop rubbish”, whatever that means. You could start by listing everything the EU does for us that we couldn’t do for ourselves.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    I am, daily, the recipient of anxious emails from organisations desperate for me to agree to remain on their mailing lists. So far I have declined to do so. If there are enough like me, it might have significant implications for those that depend utterly on this mode of contact with actual or potential customers.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      oldtimer

      You are totally right the idiot politicians and bureaucrats who dreamed up this nonsense have no idea how much damage they are doing to small innovative digital companies. Most of the job creation miracle we’ve seen over the last few years has been driven by these firms. This type of pathetic nanny knows best legislation will do severe damage to the UK’s world leading digital service businesses ( but then I think thats really what it was designed to do ) .

  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    According to this report on Sky all our theatres, especially small theatres, are now under threat from a new EU law on energy efficient lighting:

    https://news.sky.com/story/british-theatres-under-threat-from-eu-plans-to-ban-lighting-11368603

    I don’t want to discuss the details of what the EU is proposing on this occasion and its pros and cons and the present stage in the EU legislative process and how the UK government has been reacting and the potential timing of any changes which could damage not only commercial theatres but also schools, because on June 23rd 2016 I was part of the majority who voted to leave the EU and so in my case to no longer have to keep checking up on what our government is doing behind our backs in Brussels.

    • David Price
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      But the need to check on what our betters are up to won’t diminish after we have left. The establishment and politicians won’t suddenly become more trustworthy nor can they be relied on to put our interested ahead of those of the EU. If anything the need to watch over these people will increase.

      If Brexit has shown anything it is that government, establishment and the media cannot be trusted, at all.

      • Jagman84
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        Well said! Brexit is only the beginning. Westminster is next for a shake-up. Based on their current pro-EU stance, their political future is is not going to be a pleasant one.

    • Andy
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Alas it will make no difference.

      Lightbulb manufacturers will comply to new tougher EU rules.

      They won’t bother making different ones for Little Britain.

      You end up following EU rules anyway – but we no longer get a say.

      Bravo Brexiteers, bravo.

      • Augustyn
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        What tosh. Light bulb manufacturers in China (where most bulbs are manufactured) can and do produce whatever the market demands for every country in the world – and not just to the 10% who happen to be EU residents.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        Oh boy , you seriously need to get away from the world of business its far too much for you.

      • mancunius
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Get your narrative in order, Andy: is the UK ‘you’ or ‘we’?

        Are the British ‘you’ or ‘we’?

        You always seem remarkably confused on such a basic point.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Wrong again Andy
        After decades in manufacturing I can tell you factories make to different specifications to suit different markets all over the world.

        PS the UK market for light bulbs has sales of tens of millions of units per year.
        Its not little.

      • Adam
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        We 60 million UK consumers shall decide whatever enlightenment we seek.
        Suppliers can compete to fulfil our demands or fade into darkness.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        So a 65 million population isn’t worth a candle ?

        Car makers call Britain Fantasy Island.

        • Andy
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Going forward our market will get increasingly less relevant as other countries get wealthier and as their populations grow. Manufacturers will still gladly sell to us – but most won’t bother making a completely different spec of products for Little Britain. We will get what we are given – which means politicians here will have little scope to change rules without destroying markets.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 20, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

            Absolute nonsense Andy
            The UK is one of the biggest and wealthy markets on Earth.
            And it’s population is increasing.

            Your views are not born out by statistics.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 20, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

            Andy

            Manufacturers have ALWAYS made slightly different specs on their products for different markets. EVEN while we were in the EU.

            Try taking you English Dyson hoover to your house in France and plugging it in…. Oh it has a different spec…

            Try bringing in a German dishwasher that DOES NOT have a British spec and using it here in the UK

            All European manufacturers CURRENTLY have slightly different specs for the UK market

            Andy you are so detached from the real world its unbelievable

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 20, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            Just repeating the same ignorant piffle does nothing to change it from being ignorant piffle.

          • David Price
            Posted May 20, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

            Solely within the context of your statement the EU provides absolutely no protection, if that were ever needed, against what you describe as other markets will grow regardless of the EU and UK anyway. At least now we stand a chance of engaging with those markets without being dictated to by the EU apparatchiks.

            BTW, in case you hadn’t realised, our our mains plugs are different from many continental countries.

      • David Price
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        It seems the EU simply cannot get the rules right on lightbulbs.

        After forcing the adoption of CFLs to benefit it’s lightbulb manufacturers it appears the EU now thinks it was all a big mistake and is banning CFLs from 2020. Meanwhile I will continue using LED lighting from US and China but not from Philps or Osram or any other EU company.

        • APL
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          David Price: “After forcing the adoption of CFLs to benefit it’s lightbulb manufacturers it appears the EU now thinks it was all a big mistake and is banning CFLs from 2020.”

          It was a terrible mistake, and the response was halogen lamps.

          The CFL were introduced largely to benefit Phillips.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Well, as traditional filament light bulbs are still available to purchase in the UK somebody somewhere must still be making them. Maybe they don’t share your obvious contempt for Little Britain and its insignificant domestic market. And do you have any idea of how much of a say we actually have in the EU? I don’t suppose you do, as facts are not your strong point. To be honest whatever some may be arguing in reality not having a say outside the EU wouldn’t make that much difference now. It would have done when we still had a veto, as we were promised by the Labour government in the 1975 referendum, which was probably before you were even born, but now with qualified majority voting as the standard decision making process and with a much larger number of member states it would no longer make that much difference. There are still a few cases where unanimity is still required, but only a few and in any case our governments have rarely used the veto even when it has been available.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Suddenly all the luvvies that extolled the EU are up in arms about….the EU, and it’s malign effect on their way of life. High time we just ignored all these diktats.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 20, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        🙂

    • forthurst
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      This was reported in April in The Stage:

      https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2018/theatres-face-shock-180m-bill-eu-lighting-proposals/

      I happened to attend the recent launch of Artists for Brexit; an industry professional, participating in the proceedings, stated that he did not want to be seen on camera because he was concerned about his future employment prospects.

      Why do we have so many laws on our statute books which protect unassimilable aliens from adverse comment but nothing to protect talented right-thinking Englishmen from pursuing their chosen profession especially when so much of it is under the control of the English-hating BBC.

      • forthurst
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        The organiser of the Artists for Brexit launch announced at the beginning of the proceedings that a prospective attendee had first agreed to attend, had subsequently indicated their intention of attending but wearing a mask and then declined to attend on the grounds they might be recognised even if their face was obscured and thus face blacklisting.

        How many professional groups are purportedly heavily in favour of the Brussels regime but in practice are subject to intimidation by a politically active minority?

      • Trevor Butler
        Posted May 20, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        I live in Hong Kong and work in the theatre lighting industry – If this becomes law I will start a smuggling business bringing the lamps into the UK – These idiots do not no what they are proposing….

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Denis Cooper

      One EU benefit?

      “EU lighting efficiency legislation: from inefficient Halogen to very efficient long life LEDS?”

      I had 52 in-ceiling halogen lights (@ 35 watts per fitting, consumption = 1820 watts) replaced with LEDs and the consumption has come down to 260 watts (@ 5 watts per fitting). Better, cooler lighting with electricity savings. I should recover my costs for installation and fittings in circa 15 years…remarkable progress!

      ……another triumph for EU bureaucracy? However, no doubt Andy will be de-lighted?

  7. Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    How it works:
    The Prophet gets a good idea. Why not wipe out poverty? Why not make sure that every child is safe? Why not wipe out starvation in Africa and provide water for all those poor little kiddies out there?
    Then it is put into law. Very specific instructions are given. Everyone has to comply. The good idea is officiated by the priesthood. No argument. Compliance is the name of the game.
    The government (Police, law courts, family courts) then punishes everyone who disobeys and breaks the new rules.

    And do you know what? Down here in the Fens, life becomes a matter of ticking boxes, being told how to behave. Being told what is not acceptable. It all becomes very negative.
    And as a Christian, I object very strongly. I am free, under God, to live my own life. To do what I feel is right. To be a Christian gentleman in my own way. A good message for the feast of the Holy Spirit today, I think.

    I do not need to be told when to wipe my nose or not to be greedy or not to knife people.
    Too much law makes everyone a criminal. I got done for speeding and fined £100 for doing, perfectly safely, 48 mph in a 40 mph area. It had absolutely nothing to do with safety or anything else. But it was “against the law”.

  8. The Shadow
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    UKIP have asked I give them permission to continue mailing me. I left the Party ages ago. I am still spam mailed by them. They would make good Home Secretaries, they haven’t a clue who occupies their domain.

    • Simon Platt
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure they’d have stopped if you’d asked.

      • Andy
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Presumably they would need to learn to read first?

      • The Shadow
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Simon Platt
        Even in UKIP’s heyday, members had great trouble getting anything acted upon via the regular phone-in office response…even the simplest things. If you’re a UKIP member you know it.

  9. formula57
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Inapplicable though they would be to non-member states, future (post-Brexit) EU proposals may well be adopted and implemented by a quisling civil service unable to modify its “stab in the back” mentality. The Government will need to be alert.

  10. Mark B
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    It does not just affect business but whole areas of society. But we cannot complain as this has long been in the pipeline.

    It will be interesting to see what laws, if any, will or can be repealed. My personal view is they it will be business as usual, as planned.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      “But we cannot complain as this has long been in the pipeline”. Just because something has been announced well in advance does not make it sensible, right nor mean that we should not complain about it. If it is damaging and daft then yet try to reverse or improve it.

      One of the main thing wrong with the UK and EU economies are the vast number of people doing pointless, unproductive or anti-productive jobs. This largely in the state sector and in large parts of the private sector driven by daft laws, mad taxation complexity, planning laws, green crap and endless other idiotic regulations.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic

        Another viewpoint straight from the Brussels locker….

        ….but if more people are employed (regardless of a job’s intrinsic need or parasitic value), it reduces unemployment, and if there is no appreciable difference (cost wise) to our individual lives…this must be good news, right?…..

        …..or one could say “only when taxes increase to support these parasitic jobs (or any other applicable tax nonsense) does your comment stand up to scrutiny?”

        …..of course, this while ignoring stakeholders, shareholders, fund holders, banks, corporate businesses, etc……a little Marxy perhaps? (Possible logic: one of Brussels ways for decreasing unemployment throughout Europe?)

        • Lifelogic.
          Posted May 20, 2018 at 5:12 am | Permalink

          Let all dig holes then fill them in again and pay ourselves from the magic money tree. But of course there would be nothing to actually buy and no shops as we are all just digging or filling in.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 21, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

            Lifelogic

            Quite: but hey, don’t let reality get in the way of blind ideology!

  11. alan jutson
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    This new law is also a problem for any organisation No matter what its size which communicates with others, or so we are informed.
    Local charities and voluntary groups are also having to mail out to all contacts to ask them to opt in.
    Thus when you want to run a simple quiz night, you can only mail out to those who have responded to a request to keep in touch.

    Local Lions club recently held a free prostate (PSA) testing day and felt it had to ask all those attending (over 2500) to fill out a data protection form so it can send them results, and communicate with them next year, or fear of being fined !

    What was ever wrong with opt out, why make it opt in when it seems you cannot send out communication after 25th May in the first place. ?

    The World (or rather the EU) has truly gone mad.

    • Simon Platt
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Quite so!

  12. DUNCAN
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Where does this all end?

    Do we as a nation simply capitulate and embrace slavishness and become a vassal state with Germany (EU) our monarch?

    Is that what we are now? It is as though we have, like a bull, a ring through our collective noses and we are led around by our owner (EU).

    We have become a pathetic and weak country. Our politicians have deliberately and perniciously dragged us to this point. We are now little more than a region

    And still my party panders and fawns and embraces the status quo like good children.

    Where’s the real anger and aggression at how our nation’s sovereignties and laws have been openly abused by both Westminster and EU politicians.

    How is it possible that British civil servants, Lords and Commons opposition politicians can simply undermine an elected government and deviously manipulate rules to prevent our leaving.

    And finally the coup de grace – the election of a prominent Europhile as leader of our party by both Europhile and indeed Eurosceptic Tory MPs. You couldn’t invent this

    It is very simple. Unless May is deposed and replaced by a Tory with grit and guts and who is determined to implement the result of the EU referendum of 2015 then we will remain members of the EU

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    John McDonnall just now on radio 4 was unable to name a single business that he admires!
    Please can we have a PM who will deliver a real Brexit & prevent people like Corbyn, Lammy, Mc Donnall, Abbott, Starmer, Thornberry, Long-Bailey, Rayner, Watson, Butler, Gardiner … and the SNP ever coming remotely near to power?

    Surely it is not that hard to be better than the above gang of hopeless dopes & complete and utter disasters?

    • Richard1
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Is it not heartening that even with Mrs May as PM the Tories are 5% ahead? Imagine how much bigger that lead will be with a capable and inspiring leader such as Michael Gove!

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted May 20, 2018 at 5:14 am | Permalink

        Gove who wants VAT on private school fees and lumbered us with May by knifing Boris?

        But yes socialist ditherer May certainly needs to go.

  14. Ian wragg
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    There should be a moratorium on all EU legislation from now on.
    We have the tenders for Fleet Auxiliary vessels which should be built in UK shipyards but will no doubt go to subsidised East German yards.
    It’s almost as the civil service wants to undermine Britain.

  15. Aaron Shone
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Much as I dislike the EU, many suppliers and vendors I deal with have it security and data handling procedures that would make you cry. It’s easy to see how apathy and cost enabled the current culture of mega breaches both here (……..) and overseas (name removed ed) for example. I do think the GDPR is a useful kick in the rear for most companies who handle lots of personal data to get their house in order, as there is no commercial justification to do so otherwise. In my uninformed view, its the one EU regulation that the UK should ensure we have equivalence with to ensure future trade with the bloc, as data services will be a big industry for decades to come.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Aaron Shone

      GDPR doesn’t do any of the things you want it to. Cyber attacks and data hacks are not remotely stopped by GDPR . GDPR is just another pointless form filing exercise .

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        libertarian

        ….on the plus side, many “newly created jobs” Consultants of all shapes and sizes will be offering their important knowledgeable GDPR services (just like the Y2K problem)……..whoopee, thereby creating another pointless and costly business!

        We are currently being inundated with GDPR service offerings….I am guessing they have to do this before the 25th May….or they fall into the same legislatorial trap….oh, the irony!

        • libertarian
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          Denis Zoff

          Yup lots of bandwagon jumping

          Someone even told me that they were a Certified GDPR Practitioner under ISO 17204 Lol

          ISO 17024 – Conformity Assessment – General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons only covers the “principles and requirements for a body certifying persons against specific requirements, and includes the development and maintenance of a certification scheme for persons.” It has NOTHING to do with GDPR

          There are private companies offering courses with a certificate at the end. They are not certified

          Here save time and money

          Libbys Guide to GDPR

          1) You must obtain affirmative permission to store and process personal data ( i.e. you can no longer say that unless they tick a box to say no you can use the date, they must opt in)

          2) Parental Consent is required for holding and processing data on children under age 16

          3) People have the right to be forgotten and have all their personal records erased

          4) You must have someone designated as Data Protection Officer

          5) Your products, services and records must consider privacy by design and implement technical solutions( i.e. firewalls, virus protection and other security measures) to keep the data as secure as possible

          6) You must report a data breach no longer than 72 hours after it occurs

          Larger organisations will probably get accreditation under ISO 27001

          ISO 27001 (formally known as ISO/IEC 27001:2005) is a specification for an information security management system . An ISMS is a framework of policies and procedures that includes all legal, physical and technical controls involved in an organisation’s information risk management processes

          Reply A helpful list but this site does not give legal advice so please check for yourselves

  16. Pat
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    No it is not.

  17. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Gdpr is a fine example of the Great British service Industries that we’re trying to protect scaremongering. The rubbish I am getting in my inbox is incredible this whole law is an exercise in profiteering by consultants, IT companies and lawyers.

    A law designed to protect consumers has been hijacked by the lawyers and blown out of all proportion.

    This one is not Brussels’ fault but does demonstrate why the UK can not benefit from membership of a supranational organisation. There is no protection from the politicians, lawyers and consultants.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      “this whole law is an exercise in profiteering by consultants, IT companies and lawyers”.

      Indeed, as are nearly all new laws. They very rarely if every benefit the public. THey benefit the companies, lawyers, bureaucrats, charities and pressure groups who pushed for them. Often employing MPs as “consultants” to push these daft laws through – look at the endless green crap conspiracy against the tax payer and energy user.

      One of the very few positives from the Cameron administration (other than the squatting law and the EU referendum (with his thin gruel that gave us victor) was the abolition of HIP packs. Even now we still have the absurd energy certificates.

  18. agricola
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    It is what happens when you drag out the process of leaving. Government alone is responsible for this.

    Data protection may well be necessary. If you add up what Facebook, Twitter, Google, Driving Licence, Passport, Store cards, Tesco card, and your Mobile Phone know about you it possibly amounts to more than your wife knows. Apart from it being sensible to legally control all the above and limit what they can do with the information they have, it makes an absolute nonsense out of any objections there might be to a National Identity Card.

  19. John
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    If I had an email list I would be very annoyed.

    Like the accept cookies rule, this has come in about 25 years after the technology it relates to.

    Hopeless.

  20. BOF
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    This legislation should quite emphatically not have come from the EU. If it is desirable or useful legislation it should have come from our own UK Parliament. At the rate this PM is going we will be enacting EU legislation indefinitely. Outrageous.

    We voted to LEAVE the EU. Why is it not happening?

  21. Dave Andrews
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Who is charged with monitoring compliance with the GDPR, and are they going to bother?
    Will this be another regulation that in the passage of time is never tested in court?

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      This falls under the remit of the existing Information Commissioner’s Office.

  22. Lahdedah
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    No point in complaining..we are part of the EU and must comply with it’s rules that is up until we leave and even after then we will probably still have to comply with EU rules if we want to trade..the reality is that the EU bloc must be ten times bigger than the UKs..we will end up as a satellite body..same as Turkey or Norway or Switzerland..the EU because of it’s sheer size just cannot be ignored.. at any level

    • mancunius
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Lahdedah – Blahblahblah…

    • Jonp
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      It could be ignored if only we could tow the country two thousand miles into the atlantic ocean..but we can’t..we are stuck here just twenty miles from the French and Belgian coasts and much closer when it comes to Ireland. So on a different note..where are these great new international trade deals going to come from? Just wondering..because I havn’t heard a peep from Liam Fox recently..only the old slogans from IDS Bill Cash and J R-M about taking back control..and nothing at all about how we are going to manage for our Services sector including for financials and Insurance when we leave..it’s all a mystery

    • libertarian
      Posted May 20, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      LahDeDah

      Er China & India are much bigger than the EU , I’d prefer FTA’s with them

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Why on earth are so many “politics of envy” lefties so very bitter and twisted about the royal wedding? Do not watch it if you do not want to.

    It clearly gives massive amounts of pleasure to millions of people all round the world, helps the image of the UK massively, helps tourism and businesses, gives people something to talk about and laugh at also it creates loads of jobs and enhances GDP. How can these sad & bitter people go through life with such pointless bitter envy in their souls?

    Life is not fair and never will be. Time to grow up get over it you envious lefties. The BBC airwaves are full of these sad, twisted, bitter people. You do not make the poor richer by making a few rich people poorer – quite the reverse.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      – billions of people in fact.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      These American Episcopal Priests do go on a bit. At least he (like Trump) was sound on climate alarmism & fossil fuels though:- “fire made civilisation possible……..”

      Indeed and it is still vita so cut the alarmism drivel please. One of my daughters is currently doing her GCSEs and nearly all subjects are full of the bogus science of climate alarmism. More indoctrination rather than education.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      What a pleasure to see the Anglo-American Royal Wedding .

      No blue and gold in sight , just a vision of what our two countries can achieve together .

      A glimpse of the future ?
      Not for long as TM cannot even see future possibilities let alone lead us to a brand new optimistic Brexit future .

      She must go asp !

  24. DaveM
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I personally am more than happy to be removed from any mailing list. Starting with Con party HQ and their pretend-personal emails trying to persuade me that they’re doing a fine job!

    • Simon Platt
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      I’ve sure they’d remove you if you’d ask.

      After all, the Labour Party were kind enough to remove me from their mailing list, one the joke had worn thin.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    But you know, JR, we really need all these EU rules so that 6% of our businesses can have an easier life exporting 12% of our GDP to the continent, as was explained in the recent report I mentioned a few days ago on this thread:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/05/15/technology-and-transport/#comments

    “businesses who export to the EU tell us that it is strongly in their interest to have a single set of regulatory standards that mean they can sell into the UK and EU markets.”

    We also export 5% of our GDP to the US, but of course that has never been a high enough proportion for anybody to suggest that we should be subject to the body of US federal law rather than EU proto-federal law.

    And now it seems that we are to be kept under the thumb of the EU indefinitely for the sake of the 0.1% of UK GDP which is transported across the land border into the Irish Republic, the alternative being a return to Irish nationalist terrorism.

    I can’t quite work out the paradox that in 1984 the IRA was especially keen to murder the UK Prime Minister who was most enthusiastic about creating a European Single Market, and now they are being invoked to effectively keep us in it.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Today’s Daily Mail has an interesting article on Felixtoe port highlighting the nonesense of the Irish border. One ship which carries almost the entire Irish trade and hardly a customs officer to be found.

  26. Nig l
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Your prime minister. No leadership, no vision therefore no comment. Why should anyone be surprised? On the day we leave a raft of legislation should be ready to repeal beauracracy like this but obviously it won’t because of TMs determination to keep us tied to the EUs rules.

  27. walter
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Keep cramming people in, who all need to move and make journeys using fuel -and what can we expect. They all want electricity, water, sewage systems etc. This country is our home, keep bringing people into it and troubles will get worse. You can’t look after it if it is full, and getting more crammed every day.
    Brussels shoves a problem onto us, then fines us for the effect of what THEY’VE done. A great nation and the continent it is in, being destroyed in front of our eyes.

  28. zorro
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Yes, this GDPR is being zealously promoted in Civil Service and industry, and as usual, the panic over strict interpretation to the point of lunacy is fully apparent. It will hamper sensible data sharing for customers and service users. That is, of course, if they can manage their contact lists effectively anymore!

    If only the authorities had been so zealous in implementing Brexit…. Fat chance!!

    zorro

  29. Peter Martin
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure that ‘Brussels’ should be the main issue. Europe was much better as the EEC but the Treaties of Maastricht and Lisbon, which make the difference as the EU, were steps too far for most UK opinion. Even most Remainers don’t want the euro or to be a part of Schengen.

    The French and Germans are enthusiastically still in support of the euro and good luck to them. The Target2 imbalances of the euro will probably tear apart the EZ and possibly the EU itself before too long. However the term Target 2 isn’t well known outside banking and Economics circles. I often ask Remainers how they can possibly be in favour of EU membership when they really don’t understand how it works economically. Or rather doesn’t work economically because of the euro.

    http://www.cityam.com/285910/secret-bailout-system-eu-doesnt-want-you-know

    • formula57
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      But Target2 was a good reason (not deployed by Remain, strangely) for staying in the Evil Empire. All that lovely German wealth to bail-out our profligate self-indulgence as we build-up Target2 balances post Euro currency membership! Now we will have to rely upon Scottish oil revenues.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Indeed there are vanishingly few Remainers who have the courage of their convictions and will admit that the logical consequence of EU membership is the direction pointed by the five presidents’ report and other output: Euro membership for all, common tax and welfare policies, euro army and foreign policy etc etc. None in the referendum argued for any of this, and the likes of Blair, Clegg, Soubry etc will not do so now. There probably will be continued debate in future years as to whether the U.K. should return to the EU, & we will have to see whether Brexit delivers to see whether there will be arguments for it. But I hope next time the Remain / Return side will be honest enough to own up to the eventual consequences of membership.

    • acorn
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      “The Target2 imbalances of the euro will probably tear apart the EZ and possibly the EU itself before too long.” Politics will be the weapon of EU destruction, not fiat currencies.

      The TARGET 2 payment clearing system has the European Central Bank (ECB), as its Central Counter Party (CCP). The ECB is the Euro currency issuer, it is never going to run out of Euro to keep TARGET 2 liquid.

      Germany has been braking the EU 6% Current Account (CA) surplus limit for years. Normally, its currency FX rate would have risen to pull back that CA surplus. Club Med states have kept the Euro anchored down; German Banks were filling their boots with cash that wasn’t earning interest. Lending it to Club Med to buy German cars and other German made goodies was the way Germany had to go.

      It is no different to the Sterling imbalance between England and Northern Ireland. No different to the US Dollar imbalance with the rest of the world. Some countries, like the UK and the USA, are exporting their sovereign fiat currencies to other countries, by buying their exports or subsidising their existence.

      As long as countries are prepared to take other countries fiat currencies in payment and save them as all types of “foreign currency reserves”; no problem.

      • mancunius
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        ‘No problem’ is not the view of German economists: Germany is owed 871 billion euros (and rising daily) by the debtor EU states (Italy, Spain etc). Debts that – according to the essential structure and rules of Target2 – will never, ever be repaid even in part.
        Germans tend to fret about ‘non-problems’ such as being owed 871 bn euros.
        Should this nominal eurozone bail-out mechanism blow up under the stress of an Italian bank crisis or a (predictable) final refusal by the Verfassungsgericht to agree to debt transfers, UK banks (RBS, Barclays etc) are on the hook for 13% of the debt. That’s 113 bn euros and rising steeply as time goes on.
        Our UK 9.6bn in the clutches of the EIB pales in comparison.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        What you are saying is technically correct but what happens, politically, when a party like AfD makes a big election issue of the fact that Germany is owed €871bn, and which it will probably never recover.

        How will German voters see it? They are busily working away to make cars and other industrial goods but the money they receive isn’t doing anything useful for them. It just gets lent back to their customers, who’ll never repay it, via Target2.

        It’s basically no different from the UK’s deficit/debt. But because the UK does issue its currency it can always repay any sterling debt.

        • acorn
          Posted May 20, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          Think of all the unemployment benefit Germany did not have to pay to its workers. They were fully employed making BMW to sell to Club Med on very cheap loans from German Banks.

          On top of that, Germany gets paid back interest and, possibly, capital in the same currency it pays its own workers with. It gets Sterling when it sells into the UK. German workers don’t want their wages in Sterling.

          Germany is not particularly bothered about getting paid back, it is using a foreign currency, the Euro. The Euro is the ECB’s problem, not Germany’s. €871 bn can buy you a lot of, happy to be employed, German workers’ votes at election time.

          Remember that Target 2 Balances always sum to zero. That may require the ECB to be the balancing agent, circa €300 bn the last time I looked.

          The ECB, as the Euro currency issuer, has unlimited capacity to support any Eurosystem Bank, Italian or not. Just like the BoE, has unlimited capacity to support any Sterling Bank with the backing of the UK currency issuing Treasury.

          • Peter Martin
            Posted May 21, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            @ acorn,

            Yes I understand all that. But sooner or later German people are going to rumble the pro-EU establishment. They are working flat out making BMWs etc for overseas use when they really should be better directing their productive resources towards repairing their crumbling infrastructure.

            They know that the ECB is just an office block in Frankfurt. The ECB can only make good on German assets if the Italians and Spanish cough up. They can’t do that and the German people know that. They know they a putting their money into a bank which will never pay it back out.

            If they start to think a little deeper they might wonder if the American and British IOUs they hold are likely to be any more secure but that does require an extra level of understanding.

            https://www.ft.com/content/a98f7b30-776a-11e7-90c0-90a9d1bc9691

  30. Adam
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    It is right that the UK should comply with EU law if we have agreed to do so. The idiocy is that the EU is controlled by others, enacting laws that do not suit us, or even common sense itself.

    As we increasingly take back control of our own affairs, we can act as sensibly as we wish (or even more zanily than the daft EU if that suits us!).

    Brexit shall restore our freedom of choice. We look forward to the fresh breath of relief.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Under May and Hammond? Not much sign of the fresh breath of relief – she even wants “to build further on the EU employment and other regulations”!

      • mancunius
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Foolish woman thinks she can get Labour voters to vote Tory with this anodyne PC junk.

  31. They Work for Us?
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    If we must have this we should take the opportunity to take our data back.
    It should be unlawful for govt bodies to sell our data or supply it to anyone else other than the Police. I look forward to seeing you JR to put this forward as soon as possible. Similarly the use of ANPR should be for the Police only. Information that we have to supply to the state should be protected.

  32. ian
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I like thing as they were in the eighties.

  33. Monza 71
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Everybody must have realised by now that this stupid piece of legislation has impacted upon every not-for-profit organisation no matter how small. In recent weeks I have received over a dozen emails asking me to confirm I want to remain on all manner of mailing lists.

    The small Association of which I am website and magazine Editor, has less than 200 members. Like hundreds of thousands of similar organisations, we have had to draft a data protection statement, alter all our application forms and website and seek the agreement of all of our members to continue to hold nothing more than their name, address and phone numbers.

    What possible need could there be for the millions of hours of work that has been necessary to implement this pathetic piece of legislation within organisations such as ours?

    One can only hope that once we are free from the constraints of the EU, our government will issue an exemption for small not-for-profit organisations.

    I’m not holding my breath………………

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes, me too, 100 in our case but I decided to plagiarise a form I received from a bigger but similar body. I said members have a right to have their details removed. We didn’t ask them to confirm they wanted to stay on.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        The Prangwizard

        You are quite right .

        All these emails about consent to stay on a mailing list are pointless and foolish and UNNECESSARY

        GDPR does not cover the collection of mailing list data, that was an EU regulation passed nearly 14 years ago now. Your mailing list is fine and who ever is currently on it can stay on it, you MUST though , and this has been the case for the last 14 years have an option to unsubscribe.

        The change under GDPR is when collecting personal data now you must have a positive opt in consent , you cannot say by ticking or not ticking this box we can take your data. You now have to ask for explicit permission

        All those people asking existing recipients if they want to stay are doing great damage to their customer databases as if they do not reply you must now remove them.

        As Prang says if you want to be a smarty and prove that you really are taking GDPR seriously all you need to do is to write to your customers telling them they have the right to be forgotten

  34. forthurst
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    GDPR is most certainly not a good idea. Most organisations that send out information, allow the recipient to unsubscribe by means of an available methodology; why then do these same organisations have to contact me and ask me to make a positive decision on whether I want to continue to receive such information? Unless, I respond to the deluge of emails I am receiving by organisations being frightened of being driven out of business by some loathsome jobsworth, it means that the next time I need to obtain stuff or contact an organisation for some other purpose, I have to fill in all my details again.

    The EU Commission is Jobsworth Central. Surely one of the unheralded advantages of leaving the EU, will be the ability to get rid of legions of jobsworths who no doubt add to the statistics which make us the sixth largest economy but in all other respects are a drain on the efficiency of the economy and an all round pestilence?

  35. libertarian
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear

    You wonder why productivity is so low in this country. We are a nation of small businesses we have to put up with this endless stream of mostly pointless, costly and ineffective legislation. I’m getting hundreds of GDPR compliance emails every week, its a pointless waste of time, the regulations like so much else produced by bureaucrats who lack knowledge and expertise of the digital world is poorly thought out and probably unenforceable

    If you wanted to tidy up the data protection area why not just adopt the far more sensible Canadian approach ? Oh they aren’t in the EU so they’re a 3rd party non country , I see

    • Richard1
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      It’s been quite a boon for the Insurance industry. Virtually every service sector business seems to be reacting to GDPR by adding to PI Insurance to cover this additional risk. It should be an illustration again for everyone as to how EU law is made. There has been no debate or vote in Parliament on this. Even if the whole population hates GDPR and every party at the next election declares opposition to it, there can be no change as long as the U.K. is part of the EU – or indeed in ‘close regualtory alignment’ with it.

  36. I do
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed the Harry-Meghan wedding, it didn’t remind me of my own.

  37. alan jutson
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I have now been advised that GDPR mail is being used as a trojan house to spread a computer virus, so perhaps be aware who you may be responding to.

    The law of unintended consequences.

  38. Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that all the anti-British groups in this country now form a viable fifth column… Wherever we look, there are those that would not only deny us democracy, but enforce our allegiance to an oppressive system that cares not a jot for people.
    Aside from that they each have their own agenda, from the media to the union barons, and they are all fighting against us…. That’s why we needed strong leadership to get out of the EU, so we that we could show these groups that rationality works…. Now as we limp towards some sort of exit, we are weakened and the various groups will continue to pounce and make life miserable for us…
    OH for a strong impassioned leader that was truly of the right, and as tired of inept political compromises as we all are.

  39. Julian
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    1. GDPR waste of time. I really don’t know why all these businesses are asking people to reconfirm consent to email their subscribers. They should just offer an unsubscribe email- no-one is going to prosecute them if they ignore the opt-in nonsense -it’ll all be forgotten in 2 weeks time and we’ll carry on as before. But…

    2. Related to this is the very real issue of companies and other organisations keeping our data securely. Given all the hacks over the last few years (talktalk etc etc) I’m not at all confident about it.

  40. Simon Platt
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m on several mailing lists, managed by a wide diversity of organisations. I have therefore received many GDPR requests. The process is obviously onerous, perhaps especially for volunteer groups, but it must also have an effect on commercial businesses.

    But what strikes me most of all is the discrepancy in understanding. One membership organisation has told me that if I don’t reply they will be unable to send me any further information *except* that necessary for managing my membership – for example, membership renewals. I suppose that’s a pretty accurate summary. But another organisation has just told me that they wouldn’t be able to communicate me with *at all* without my approval under GDPR – even, that they would not be able to contact me to renew my membership, nor to send me the quarterly members’ magazine. This seems simply bonkers, but they believe it. And this is not a small organisation with little exerience but a well established one with a professional office manager.

    I suppose my experience must have been repeated millions of times across the country.

    Common sense has gone right out of the window.

  41. mancunius
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps this is just another sign of Brussels displeasure with the recent outperformance of small and mid-cap UK companies (many in tech/online service sectors) – considerably outshining the average basket of European shares and the DAX over the five-year, three-year and one-year period.

    Oh well, it’s just more of the ‘brexit economic and financial misery’ that we’ve ‘had to suffer’. Frankly, I could do with far more of this ‘misery’ and ‘suffering’. But it must be galling for the Commission’s bureaucrats who desperately want to prevent small companies from encroaching on the moats of those multinat dinosaurs who over the years years have paid them richly for their advantage and for ‘appropriate’ legislation.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 20, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      mancunius

      Nail on the head

      The EU 27 are so far behind the curve on digital its not funny

      The EU and the UK government has been at war with small innovative businesses for some years now

      IR35

      Cookies

      VAT Moss Digital Downloads

      Class 4 national insurance

      GDPR

      Reams and reams of other regulatory nonsense all designed to stop small companies competing with big corporates

      Oh and the confusion that they get in, the EU supports open internet and net neutrality then tries to haul Facebook up as a being responsible for what is published on their platform .

      The Centre of Economic and Business Research says our SMEs are being forced to waste 28 hours a week on EU red tape, at a cost of almost £5 billion per year for small businesses

  42. nigel seymour
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Today we held yet another event for the whole world to admire. They admire it because there is no other country on the face of this planet that remotely comes close to it. This is why people’s of other nations wish to emigrate and settle here, or simply visit. However, some countries wish us harm and despise our democracy and way of life. Many are envious of our standing in the world and would wish us to be politically and economically part of lesser countries. The UK voted on 16th June 2016 to leave the European Union – so sending a clear message that we no longer accept an unelected political elite dictating to this country.

    Congratulations to Harry and Meghan and God save the Queen.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Quite right Nigel. The pomp and ceremony was a spectacle to behold. Meghan looked lovely and Harry very emotional. All in all a fantastic day. I wish them both well and am so glad Harry seems to have found true happiness after such sadness in his life.

    • Eh?
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Well the referendum was some time ago and with Mrs May not honouring the result for a year then going on about “More” and not absolute control of borders and other attempts to thwart the will of the people, you can be forgiven for getting the date wrong.

  43. Ken moore
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    If it wasnt for the need to accomodate the EUs rule on free movement of people and flawed emission drive cycles pollution levels would be significantly reduced. There arrogance is astonishing

  44. M. Davis
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I am sick to death of hearing about the EU!! Tell Teresa May to get on with it, either a hard Brexit or a No Deal, I do not care which it is but I am sick to death of hearing about her dithering and trying to please everybody EXCEPT the British people who voted for, OUT OF THE EU.

    Thank Goodness for the Royal Wedding, a welcome break and I have to say that Meghan’s Mother , Doria, was the epitome of Dignity!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts were that we should have got the Palace bureaucracy to organise Brexit. Compare the aplomb with which this ceremony proceeded with the disastrous government bungling of a simple instruction to Leave the EU.

    • margaret
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      I second that. What a lovely day for the UK. Brussels obviously does not rule our hearts and minds.

    • DaveM
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Indeed – the wedding was a showcase of understated excellence, elegance, dignity, and perfect planning. Obviously no politicians were involved!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 20, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Indeed she was. Imagine finding yourself dumped down among all that British royal stuff with all its ceremony and protocol … she carried herself very well.

  45. John Dodds
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    I am beginning to believe that the referendum was a waste of time,other than to indicate that “de mock racy” is used purely as an excuse to ignore the result.Every day we are confronted by yet another climb down and that unelected civil servants are leading our misguided P.M. The latest drivel is the Irish Border confrontation.Why doesn’t our P.M. just state that unless we get what we are asking for we will walk away,which I believe we are quite entitled to do?

  46. Ron Olden
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    On an unrelated matter, I notice that Labour have picked their candidate for the Lewisham By Election.

    It might be an idea if the former Leave Campaigners and Tories in general got together and mounted a vigorous campaign in this By Election.

    The Labour Candidate has made a big point of stating she’s pro Remain.

    Given that 70% of people in Lewisham voted Remain last tine we’ll no doubt hear after she gets elected that the By Election has more legitimacy than the Referendum did.

    On the other hand if ‘Leave’ and the Tories mount a strong campaign, and get all the former ‘Leave’ voters out to vote Tory for this one occasion only, to make their point, they could slash Labour’s majority there.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 20, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    On three TV programmes this morning two representatives of the UK government – the Culture Secretary and the Digital Minister – spoke about internet regulation and legislation in progress and more proposed legislation subject to consultation without either of them once mentioning the EU or that this EU law has already been put in place. It’s just the same as it always has been for decades now, old habits die hard apparently, it’s almost as if we have not had a referendum in which we voted to leave the EU in many cases partly because we are fed up with this constant sneaky behaviour by our politicians and civil servants.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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