Since early 2016, Frank Brehany has been providing comment, both pre and post the EU Referendum on the effect on Consumer Rights of the decision, particularly in travel.
On the build up to the 2016 Referendum, Frank ensured that he provided a balanced analysis of the decision that lay before Consumers, but, several days before the vote, he made clear that given what he had heard, the best position for Consumers and their Rights lay through continued full membership of the European Union.
Since the Referendum, Frank has continued to provide commentary on the potential and actual consequences of the Referendum decision, noting in particular how the UK government will deal with the issue of Consumer Rights.
Whilst Citizens may consider that Consumer Rights rest way down the Brexit agenda, they should remember, that whenever they travel by land, sea or air, whenever they purchase food or a household product, or when they purchase or subscribe to a service product, they are acting as Consumers and therefore activate the very Rights that protect them should that purchase, product or service go wrong.
For the last two-years, the UK government has been generally silent on Consumer issues, simply stating that they intend to transfer Consumer European Law in full onto the UK Statute books. However, an analysis of EU law, particularly in the field of travel, presents problems over the certainty of that law or its applicability. It should be remembered that the laws the UK government seeks to incorporate onto our Statute books are designed for the EU Single Market; if we are out of the EU, that becomes a fundamental problem. Many UK Consumers perhaps do not appreciate that they transact with many mainland-Europe based companies and this presents some difficulty if we are no longer members of the EU.
If we leave the European Union without a deal we become a 3rd party country and we are therefore not able to enjoy the privileges of the Single Market because we are not a member. If we leave with the current proposed deal (remember, it is only a withdrawal agreement), we still have to negotiate a trade deal which may or may not give us full or partial membership of the Single Market; again, we as Consumers may not be able to enjoy its benefits, laws or standards.
In addition to this, there are those in government who desire a ‘deregulated’ country and this could be achieved through clauses contained within the Withdrawal Bill; this would leave it open for Ministers to ‘red-line’ regulation on the basis that the country is operating under emergency conditions and industry is having to comply with too much ‘red-tape’.
The risk to Consumers is serious without a clear strategy and guarantees to ensure the continuity of Rights.
After consideration of the issues, Frank is calling on all Members of the UK Parliament to think again, understand the disquiet that exists and remember that the 2016 Referendum was constructed around lies and illegality; he calls for the defeat of the government’s proposed deal and for a clear strategy on EU Membership to be proposed and presented back to the people for a final decision.
Frank Brehany, an Independent Consumer Campaigner & Commentator states:
“I call clearly recall in one appearance on Sky News, presenting the then options after an EU-vote and being told that what I had said was a ‘clear as mud’. If indeed what I had to say was muddy, then it is clear that the country’s head is now barely above the quicksand”
“My job is to read, analyse, present and discuss. I care not whether any Consumer voted to leave or remain in the EU. It is my job to provide clear commentary and guidance on Consumer issues; failing to do so does not help Consumers!
“I have spent the last 2 years listening, reading, attending Consumer meetings and it is clear from all these sources that the lot of Consumers will not be happy if we should leave the European Union in any form. The Rights we currently enjoy have been fashioned for over 40 years and provides us with very clear and valuable protections. This is all about the continuation of those protections on very many different levels. This is a serious legal issue. As I have predicted in the past, parliament, who started this mess, will eventually coalesce around a very imperfect solution. Now is the time for courage along with the need to help the country step back from the brink. MP’s should revisit and reconsider the whole issue of the EU. I call upon them to stop the clock that is brexit and to set out a clear legal vision and strategy for either remaining in the EU or to leave; then, despite all the naysaying, Westminster should let the people decide. By taking this action, the temperature could be lowered, parliament would be able to set out clear facts, being awake to the potential of illegality would ensure that this would prove to be a solid proposition and vote. Given what has happened this past two years, I sincerely hope that Westminster politicians will have the courage and the foresight to do what is right”.