Post-Brexit, EU Debated The Important Issues. Like Weeds

The big shots in the European Union are renowned for getting involved in all manners of tiny issues, attempting to put their stamp of Governmental Control on just about everything. They’ve implemented controls on TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators, and vacuums, among others. Recently, they were coming after tea kettles, toasters, and other small household appliances, in order to ecodesign them. Surprisingly, the NY Times notes that this continues in the shadow of Brexit (bold mine)

Less than 24 hours after Britain threw Europe’s postwar order into disarray last Thursday by voting to leave the European Union, dozens of officials from the bloc’s 28 member countries and its executive arm met behind closed doors in a drab Brussels office block to discuss the urgent issues at hand.

The meeting ended without a decision, however, and was followed on Monday by more inconclusive and confidential wrangling in the Albert Borschette Congress Center in Brussels.

The main issue under discussion was not Brexit, as Britain’s departure from the bloc is called, but another divisive cause embraced by British foes of the European Union: the freedom to use certain types of weed killer.

While Berlin, Europe’s de facto capital, has hosted crisis meetings in recent days to discuss how to respond to Britain’s vote, Brussels, the putative capital of Europe, has stuck doggedly to its own stately rhythms. On Friday and Monday, it plowed ahead with arcane debates about weeds, fish, organic farming and other subjects that have come to form the substance of the so-called European project.

This scrutiny of technical minutiae has turned the European Union into a regulatory superpower, allowing it to help set norms and standards used around the world. But that tight focus has crippled its ability to grapple with big issues or to engage with many ordinary people. As the British vote showed, many people feel no connection with what began as an idealistic peace project after World War II, but is now widely viewed as a meddling and undemocratic bureaucratic machine.

Is it any wonder that sentiment is rising in many other EU member states to leave the EU? The Times article continues on to note that the EU will finally discuss Brexit Tuesday, but only after sticking to the original agenda on “migration, investment, and other matters”. People are getting very tired of meddlesome bureaucrats in the Central Planning Office getting involved in every aspect of their lives, dictating this and that and the other.

They’re sick and tired of it on this side of the Atlantic, as well.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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