Brexit: EU Planned to Ban Popular British Tea Kettles, Toasters

British teapot (Mark Hillary / Flickr / CC))
Mark Hillary / Flickr / CC)

Just two months before the Brexit vote, the European Union announced that it would begin banning the most popular “high powered” British tea kettles and toasters.

With British consumption of tea outstripping continental Europe’s average by a factor of six, the European Commission (EC) had quietly delayed the implementation of new “ecodesign” restrictions on small household appliances during the run-up to the Brexit referendum vote over fears that bans would be perceived as an assault on the British staples of tea and toast.

But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, in his weekly College of Commissioners meeting on April 20, accidentally revealed that the EU, just after would move forward with regulatory bans against eight of the best selling kettles and nine of the best selling toasters in the United Kingdom just after the Brexit vote.

The announcement set off a firestorm of ridicule regarding the arrogance of the EU nanny state. It also revived the bitter anger over 2014 regulations on supposedly “high-powered” vacuum cleaners that threatened to ban 6 out of the top 10 selling vacuum cleaners in the UK, including the wildly popular British made “Dyson Ball” and “Dyson Cordless.”

Writing an Op-ed for the London Telegraph newspaper at the time, Sir James Dyson blasted the “flawed” EU energy efficiency labeling regime as “misleading shoppers,” because the “The boffin [scientific] bureaucrats have been testing virgin vacuum cleaners in a sterile laboratory.” Dyson complained that as a result, the regulators’ performance “grades on the labels are not representative of how the vacuum will work in the real world.”

Despite the UK vote for a Brexit, the European Commission “Growth: Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs website still claims there is such a large “world-wide demand for more efficient products to reduce energy and resource consumption” that more EU regulations are needed “to eliminate the least performing products to make way for industrial competitiveness and innovation.”



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