7 juli 2005

Insane Union (The Flemish Beerdrinker)

Chris Dillow points to COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1810/2004 of 7 September 2004. This regulation is 877 pages long (!) and is signed by Frits Bolkestein. A-ha, a Bolkestein-regulation. This one however is not about the liberalization of services, because in that case one line would do: abolish all regulation (i’m joking!). So no left-wing politicians or unions to fill the streets to protest this time. What is it about then? It’s about the tariffs imposed by the European Union. Lot’s of them. How anyone can make sense of this mess, let alone, the poor countries that wants acces to Europes markets to develop, is beyond me. It’s an absurdity, as Chris Dillow says. Frits Bolkestein, as a liberal, should have refused to put his signature under this regulation. If you are searching for the Frankenstein-directive, well this is it:

I defy anyone to show that this tariff structure optimizes European welfare. More to the point, it’s just fantasy to expect this absurdity to be negotiated into something sane. Line-by-line negotiations will get us nowhere.So here’s my suggestion for Blair and Brown. Forget negotiation. Fighting street-to-street on this won’t work. Why not just announce, unilaterally, that the UK will have no part in this absurdity, and will allow free imports from everywhere? This will give the rest of the EU three options.
1. They could do nothing, in which case their tariffs will become redundant as goods are freely imported to the UK and re-exported.
2. They could retaliate by imposing tariffs on the UK. This would show clearly to all Europeans that EU leaders want to impoverish Africa and harm European consumers in order to please their lobbyists and special interest groups.
3. Do the right thing, and follow the UK’s example.
If Blair and Brown were serious about wanting to help Africa (and indeed UK consumers) they’d do this today. Both are surely well aware of the text: "follow not a multitude to do evil."Or do they prefer to just drool and drivel that they care, without actually doing anything?

Every three seconds a child dies, because of this. (To use the rethoric of the making poverty history buch). Here’s another one....and another one....again....

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