There is no need to reform European consumer contract law and no evidence to suggest that the European Commission's preferred solution would work, the UK Government has said. The government has rejected EU plans to harmonise the laws governing consumer contracts and had rejected the very basis of reform, which is that the …
What a difference
Nice to see that the UK Gov is not just rubber stamping all EU BS into UK law, unlike those lying labour twats did for 13 years.
Uk behind the curve again
Government consults business for its response...
How about consulting consumers? Differences in contract law are a major PITA if there are ever disputes that need resolving. As with car import duty or phone roaming charges, harmonisation of the regulatory environment is essential for a level playing field.
What ever next .. Common Laws for all ?
Whilst I agree that consulting consumers (ie. the electorate) would be a very good thing and also that differences in contract law between EU states is a PITA and, in general, a bad thing I also agree with the government that throwing the baby out with the bath water isn't necessarily the best solution.
Who says that replacing - or even worse compounding our existing laws - with typical one-size-fits-all EU laws will be better off for the either UK businesses or UK consumers ? It is the UK governments job to assess such implications - and they are right to do so. Harmonisation to the lowest common deniminator would not be a positive step forwards for the UK.
INL but I suspect a major problem is contract law is very close to the heart of UK common law - any changes would constitutionally rock the boat far too much for the conservative leadership to condone .. at least for now.
yeah but no but
Where does the LCD myth come from? I can't think of, which doesn't mean it doesn't exist, an EU regulation example that follows this. In fact EU rules are usually minimum plus, ie. exploiting the principle of subsidiarity for additional determination: order from Bulgaria, et al. but benefit from UK consumer protection legislation. Sounds good to me.
No such thing
"... I suspect a major problem is contract law is very close to the heart of UK common law..."
There's no such thing, although your mistake is understandable, given the extent to which the BBC continues to treat Scotland as a UK region. Scotland has, and always has had, its own legal system, both criminal and civil. Almost all serious crimes (murder, woundings, serious assaults, theft, etc.) are Common Law crimes in Scotland, and there are quite a few that don't even have an English equivalent - hamesucking (yes, really) and culpable homicide being a couple.
And just to make the point, Scotland has its own education system and money (Scottish banks print their own banknotes) as well...
Who cares about harmonization (except for The Grey Ones)?
When I was living outside the UK and ordering things online, I usually had to get electronic things sent to a UK address for someone to forward to me, which was a PITA. Apparently this is because the consumer goods regulations of the country of the buyer, rather than the seller, apply.
But I don't see that "harmonization" (remember that "integration" etc generally mean "Brussels takeover") would be necessary to fix that -- simply allow buyers to agree that the rules of the seller's country will apply to that item.
But then, a lot of the smaller electronic items just aren't worth making a fuss about if they break anyway, so I didn't generally care which country's guarantee laws applied.
I can understand all the guys worried about Brussels creep etc.
But there's a huge BUT of epic proportions here: The very essence of the founding treaties are about the free flow of trade throughout the EU.
But why deny a clear-cut set of can and can't do's so that everyone knows what they are in for.
If we have a 30-day money back regime why shouldn't the Poles and Hungarians (to name a few) enjoy this too?
It was the same with late-flight compensation schemes. They used to vary by carrier, airport and country. So one was never quite clear what they were entitled to and usually ended up getting nothing.
Look at the U.S.: Millions of state laws but there's a bare minimum of what you can and should expect when buying stuff. In what way is this bad? Clarity and simplicity lead to wide adoption!
"If we have a 30-day money back regime why shouldn't the Poles and Hungarians (to name a few) enjoy this too?"
The problem is that isn't necessarily how it would work out. Instead, we might end up with "hamonized" laws that gave no one a money back guarentee. Lowest common denominator = rubbish. Right now, we have a really good set of consumer protections, much better than a lot of places, and any one size fits all version is likely to be a compromise that gives far less to our consumers than they current get. Or at least, that is what they're concerned about.
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