A reader asks if my stance of free trade is consistent with Brexit.

Reader Craig asks

Hi Mish,

I just thought of this, you are very free trade\open markets. In fact you advocate eliminating all tariffs in the USA. The elimination of tariffs is one of the intended goals of the EU. You however were for Brexit, which most people would think is anti-free market, or anti-free trade. Your stance this seems to be contradictory. Have you changed your stance since you stated that “the first country that practices free trade regardless of what anyone else does will be a winner.” or I’m I missing something?

Yes you are missing something. Many things in fact.

The EU is the biggest anti-free trade organization in the world.

  • The EU has crop subsidies for the benefit of France at the expense of everyone else in the EU.
  • The EU has regulations on everything including a provision that regulate abnormal curvature of bananas
  • The EU imposed sanctions on Russia even though the action hurt their own farmers.
  • The EU generally supports a financial transaction tax (not passed but it probably will now)
  • The EU supports penalizing Google
  • All 28 nations in the EU have to agree on something to make a change to the treaty. France will never give up its agricultural subsidies and tariffs

Ridiculous EU Rules

There are a lot of claims and counter-claims over Ridiculous EU Rules but Business Insider investigated. Here are the ones labeled true.

  1. Banana’s cannot be too bendy.
  2. It is illegal to claim water hydrates you on a bottle of water.
  3. Prunes cannot be promoted for a bowel function effect.
  4. Turnips cannot be labeled “swedes”, except in one place.
  5. Diabetics are banned from driving (passed but not enforced).
  6. Eggs cannot be sold by the dozen, they have to be sold by weight.

In regards to prunes, the EU ruled “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.”

In regards to eggs, they can be packaged by the dozen, but the package has to include the weight. This is nothing but needless red tape.

The UK does not need any of this madness.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock