10 things the EU have in store for us if we stay [4]

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Yet more nasty EU stuff they’re keeping up their sleeve until July…

7. Arts import licences
London is the centre of the global trade in fine arts, bringing in billions in revenue. Its competitors are New York, Geneva and Hong Kong.

Britain has already been disadvantaged by the EU’s application of VAT to fine arts sales and, even more, by the preposterous Resale Rights rule, which obliges traders to pay a percentage to the heirs of the original artist each time a work is sold on.

Now, Brussels plans an import licensing regime, which would again subject London to more cost and bureaucracy than overseas rivals.

Anthony Browne, chairman of the British Art Market Federation, says: ‘Our big concern is that an import licence system would impose a new and very damaging burden on the British art market which is heavily dependent on cross-border trading.’

8. Wrecking our ports
The EU wants to oblige every port to have more than one provider for its internal services, such as mooring, dredging and unloading.

This might make sense for state-owned or state-subsidised mega-ports on the Continent, such as Antwerp, Hamburg and Rotterdam. But it makes no sense for British ports which are private, small, and in competition with each other.

Everyone agrees that the measure will deter investment. Every British port operator and every trade union opposes it.

Every British MEP, from the Greens to Ukip, voted against it. But it went through the European Parliament anyway, only to have the final decision suddenly deferred.

It, too, will come back after the referendum. If we vote to stay in, these new rules will hit some of our most successful ports, including Belfast, Glasgow, Bristol, Liverpool, Cardiff, Harwich and Southampton.

9 and 10 follow tomorrow…

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