10 Crazy EU Laws That Britain Will Not Miss


Bendy Bananas

This is your actual default banana with an angle of curvature at no less than 90 degrees, so if the banana is too bendy, it is to be rejected as sub-standard under EU law.

  • with the stalk intact, without bending, fungal damage or desiccation
  • with pistils removed
  • free from malformation or abnormal curvature of the fingers
  • practically free from bruises

It’s also suggested that bananas should not be sold in bunches of more than three or four, so watch out the next time you’re at the Greengrocer.

Crazy Cucumbers

Cucumbers must all be straight– 30 years ago, the Commission of the European Communities adopted Regulation (EEC) No 1677/88, better known as the Cucumber Bending Regulation. Until 2009, there was a rule that stipulated that cucumbers of the grade, Extra, may have a maximum curvature of ten millimetres to ten centimetres in length and should:

  • be well developed
  • be well shaped and practically straight (maximum height of the arc: 10 mm per 10 cm of the length of the cucumber)

Busty Barmaids

In a draft directive that had drinkers choking on their pints, Brussels bureaucrats ordered a barmaid cover-up. They said barmaids ran a skin cancer risk if they exposed themselves to the sun when going outside the pub to collect glasses. This is partly a myth with an element of truth, yet roundly dismissed by most boozers as just more pen-pushing. Naturally, the woke community jumped on cleavages as exploitation, but then, they would, wouldn’t they?


Wonky Water

In 2011, the EU faced ridicule when it ruled that there was no evidence to suggest that drinking water prevented dehydration. The EU now prohibits manufacturers of bottled drinking water to label their product with anything that would suggest consumption would fight dehydration.

I’ll have a beer instead then.

Tasty Turnips

In 2008 the EU decided to clarify the difference between turnips and swedes, stating that the two are different, yet the same.

This only applies when used in Cornish Pasties, a kind of small hand-held pie made in Cornwall and similar to an Empanada. When swede is used in Cornish Pasties, it can be referred to as a turnip. This is because, in Cornwall, England, locals refer to Swedes as turnips and I can vouch for this important fact since it’s my place of birth.


…and some EU laws that almost made it through

 Boozy Ban

In 2005, a working paper was drawn up where off-licenses (booze shops) and supermarkets would only be allowed to sell alcohol on weekends in a move designed to curb binge-drinking. It was even suggested that all sales of alcohol would be controlled by a Soviet-style agency in some kind of state-run monopoly. Rather predictably, this moronic idea never left the starting gate, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the UK’s alcohol laws used to be draconian in the pre-2005 era, with drinking up time at 11 pm, not being able to buy a drink before 7 pm on a Sunday and numerous other bizarre laws.

Barmy Balloon Ban

In 2011,  several newspapers claimed that Brussels had imposed new rules on the UK by banning children from blowing up balloons or using party whistles. The law apparently stated that balloons made of latex needed to carry a warning to parents that children under eight years of age should be supervised. Stronger plastic ballons did not need to carry this warning and children all over the country simply carried on as normal.

Circus Crazy

In 2003, a tightrope-walker said that his career had been placed in jeopardy by legislation originating in Brussels, which dictated that he must wear a hard hat to perform since new EU laws had been introduced to protect workers who operate at height. This was found to be yet another tabloid sensationalist story backed up with very little truth.

Crazy Cricket

Cricket is the only sport where players stop halfway through the match for a nice cup of tea– fact. But Brussels was apparently only enforcing a law that the UK had implemented many years before, in that all food should meet reasonable hygiene standards blah, blah, blah. The tabloids simply whacked their own interpretation of the food standards story and people bought it. Anyway, since cricket is such a sublimely British pastime, I think another view of a British summer scene is called for.


Domain names – .uk To Be Replaced By .eu

Again, this was yet another splash headline from either The Daily Mail (Daily Fail) or The Sun, or even The News Of The World (News of The Screws) and clearly was never going to happen. Think ”Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster.”

There was a time during the 90s and early 2000s that a day never passed when the EU was being ridiculed in one way or another. Very often this was entirely justified — bananas anyone? — so the tabloid train kept on rolling and many people bought it, thus feeding the anti-EU frenzy that eventually became, ”Be careful what you wish for because it may come true.”

Oh, and by the way, I cannot reveal my sources, as this is banned under EU law.


About the Author

Marc Thomas

Marc is an avid traveler, motorcyclist, entrepreneur, and gamer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. His interest in computers and technology began in the early 1990's when he was introduced by a friend to a Zenith Data Systems computer running DOS. In the years following he has experienced all versions of the Windows operating system, built hundreds of systems, and fixed many more for his customers. Marc also has an interesting forum you might like to check out at Argentina Expats

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