Re: EU friends apparantly
"The EU is ever increasing its standards/regulations above places outside the EU ..."
Please note that EU standards have gone through the elected EU Parliament. So democratically approved by the electorate.
However, many products supplied in the UK are subject to standards which are stricter than the EU's: those of the British Retail Consortium - https://www.brcglobalstandards.com/brc-global-standards/food-safety/ So probably quite sensible, but not democratically approved by the electorate.
This is yet another example where British industry piles requirements on top of UK and EU law. Other examples include the construction site safety passports. So I'm surprised you're complaining about EU standards being demanding - apparently the UK supply chain think they're not demanding enough. Anway, I would much prefer strict food safety standards than loose ones. Incidentally, contacts in the industry tell me that non-EU countries also accept EU standards for, say, lifting gear, simply because they're good standards (and it saves them developing their own).
Here's one for the weekend, brewed to the German Reinheitsgebot (also stricter than EU standards, as it happens :)