In BBC News the other day I learned several things about the UK and challenges made by the EU:
- Red Diesel
- Social Security for immigrants
- Coal use
- Border Controls
Red diesel is fuel dyed so it can be recognized as untaxed. Essentially, fishing boats are allowed to use this. Yachts can use it, but supposedly only for heating, not for engine power. The EU is challenging that the UK is allowing red diesel to be used by yachts.
EU rules say, more or less, that Schengen migrants get social security. The UK is putting extra qualifying rules on said migrants. The EU is challenging this too.
Coal is unnaturally cheap in the UK, partly due to US and others being able to get more natural gas, lowering the price of that fuel. Electricity is generated in the UK partly by coal, and the EU is bugging them not to slow down the closure of coal-fired generators. I suspect that the economics of coal will keep those generators going a bit longer than originally planned.
Temporary border controls. You can check me on this, but as I recall there were refugees leaving a country in Africa, arriving on an island that is part of Italy, getting temporary EU identification there, and then going to France using Schengen rules. France then began stopping the trains at the border.
Now the EU is making new rules allowing a state, for various reasons, (which can be political claims, eh?) to close its borders. Ireland was part of the negotiating team. Britain and Ireland have partial Schengen co-operation but not visa-free travel. Don’t expect this to change anytime soon, and if it does, new rules will allow border closing.
I am reminded of a bad joke on the world-view of British citizens: fog in channel, continent isolated.
One more thing: the UK can revalue its currency vis a vis the Euro. Greece cannot. Cyprus cannot. Spain cannot. Italy cannot. France cannot. Even Germany cannot – and they are headed for recession soon too, imho. Overall the EU is in recession and has been for several quarters.
Britain can participate in the coming war of currency devaluation. Japan is considering this; the US via ‘quantitative easing’ is essentially doing this, China is accused of keeping the yuan unnaturally low.
Britain kept out of the Euro, parts of the Schengen agreement, and is doing overall better than the EU. Meanwhile the EU is making life hard for yacht-owners, politicians, and electricity generators in the UK. I expect fallout – falling out of the EU by the UK.