EIGHT of the worst EU laws that the UK had to accept.

Graham Charles Lear
4 min readJan 31, 2020

The EU has bought in some stupid laws thas the UK has had to adapt. If you trawl through the thousands of laws that the EU has bought in you will come away with a migraine and quite literally shake your head in despair.

Here is a small collection of EIGHT that will leave you gobsmacked

At number one

Is the humble Banana, no matter what Remainers tell you about the humble Banana it's true that Bananas cannot be too bendy.

In a widely ridiculed ruling, Brussels bosses banned rogue bananas with “malformations and abnormal curvature”. In 2009, the European Union introduced strict restrictions on the quality of bananas and other fruits sold within the EU.

Under the regulations, the fruit should be “free from malformation or abnormal curvature of the fingers”.

The EU then classify bananas into three sections, with premium “extra” class bananas having to be “free from defects”.

Class one and two bananas were given more leeway with the former allowed to have “slight defects of shape” and the latter bananas are allowed to have “defects of shape”.

At number two

It's Illegal to make Stilton in the village of Stilton

The small Cambridgeshire town named after the famous blue-veined cheese for being the first place to sell it is banned from producing Stilton under EU law.

The European law was put in place after officials ruled the cheese originated in another part of England.

The renowned blue cheese can only be produced in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire after makers of Stilton applied for Protected Geographical Status in 1996.

Ever since production of the cheese has been limited to these counties.

In 2013, The Original Cheese Company sought to have the EU ruling amended to allow the village of Stilton to make the cheese but the application was rejected.

Number three

Water does not hydrate you

In 2011 the EU banned drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.

EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove drinking water prevents dehydration.

Producers of bottled water are forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict.

The move was criticised as being both at odds with science and common sense.

The NHS, which says dehydration occurs “when your body loses more fluid than you take in”, advises drinking fluids to help ward off dehydration.

Number four

Tampon tax

Currently, all sanitary protection in the UK is charged a VAT of five per cent, the lowest rate permissible under EU VAT rules.

The Government has indicated willingness to scrap the controversial tampon tax, but existing EU laws prevent member countries from introducing a zero per cent rate on products.

Britain will be free to scrap the tax, which treats sanitary products as a luxury non-essentials item, from January 1, 2021 — the end of the transition period.

It should be implemented fairly quickly, as David Cameron’s Government included a provision in the 2016 Finance Bill to allow for sanitary protection to be zero-rated, once the UK had the discretion to do this.

The European Commission did agree to abolish the tax in 2018 after extensive lobbying from the UK, but it will not come into effect until January 2022.

Number five

Strict fishing quotas

The Common Fisheries Policy sets annual fishing quotas on each type of fish and mandated that if fish of the wrong species were caught accidentally, they had to be thrown overboard.

As a result, thousands of dead fish ended up being chucked back into the sea as fishermen attempt to reach the right quotas of the required species.

This practice was heavily condemned as tonnes of dead fish were being discarded.

In 2019 the EU outlawed the controversial practice and obliged skippers to land unwanted fish.

Number six and my favourite.

Halogen light bulbs banned

The EU banned member states from selling halogen light bulbs, replacing them with LEDs.

The final stage of the EU energy regulations was put in place in September 2018.

LED lights are more efficient and require significantly less power to operate but are more expensive than its predecessor.

Earlier versions of LEDs were criticised for being slow to light up, but newer versions of the light bulb instantly light up.

But since the halogen ban was introduced, scientific studies have found LED lights can permanently damage eyesight and disturb natural sleep rhythms.

Last year the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety warned the “blue light” emitted from LEDs can lead to “irreversible loss of retinal cells and diminished sharpness of vision”.

Number seven

Inches and pounds banned as measurements

In 2010 the EU banned the use of imperial measurements (feet, inches, pounds etc) and instead only allowed the use of metric units (metres, kilograms).

As a result, goods sold loose by weight were required to be sold in grams and kilograms.

Traders are allowed to display weights and prices in both imperial and metric but not in imperial only.

Number eight

Prunes are not a laxative

One month after banning water from being sold as preventing dehydration, the EU ruled prunes do not have a laxative effect and as such, producers cannot say that they do.

The EU investigated the matter and found: ““The evidence provided is insufficient to establish a cause and effect relationship between the consumption of dried plums of ‘prune’ cultivars (Prunus domestica L.) and maintenance of normal bowel function.”



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.