Brexit a Victory for Xenophobia? Not So Fast.


Sheffield Tiger/flickr

Brexit wasn't about xenophobia and the Leave campaign was not alone in appealing to emotion.

J.D. Tuccille writes:

Just weeks before the Brexit vote, the European Union stirred a hornet's nest with a proposal to require restaurants to serve olive oil only in commercially purchased bottles, not in refillable cruets or bowls. The ban, almost certainly intended to benefit large producers at the expense of local producers unable to package oil in single-use containers, was promptly pulled amidst a righteous outcry.

"What I find really interesting about this story is not the general derision with which the first proposal was greeted: rather, the nakedness of the ambition behind it," wrote Tim Worstall, a fellow at London's Adam Smith Institute. "Big business using 'consumer protection' legislation to kill off the small producer. Sadly, that's an all too common part of the way that the E.U. is governed. Regulation which privileges large companies over the small ones that cannot afford to obey the legislation."

Similar concerns arose around E.U. regulations targeting traditional herbal remedies. Beginning in 2011, they had to meet rigorous requirements regarding manufacturing and dosage. "Some manufacturers and herbal practitioners have expressed concern, arguing the new rules are too onerous for many small producers," noted the BBC.