The EU Has Banned Common Sense

Any set of rules is only as complicated as the author wants to make it. Likewise, any negotiation. We are told Brexit will make it complex for UK advisers to service UK expatriates in the EU. No doubt it will, but that need not be the case. If the politicians and regulators on all sides used common sense and were pragmatic then it could be as easy for an EU-resident Briton to obtain advice from his UK adviser as it is for he or she to be mailed their home newspaper. Let clients elect to have their advice regulated from the location of origin, their UK IFA’s office, with the full protection of the FCA, FOS, and FSCS duly afforded. Let them choose to renounce any recourse whatsoever to the regulators and compensation schemes in their country of residence so they are no burden on the EU state in which they reside. UK advisers could then deliver advice to Brenda in Barcelona with all the protections afforded to Carrie in Castleford. It won’t happen of course because it is too simple. It would remove layers of pointless rules rather than creating them. Even more shockingly it might lead to the need for less EU bureaucrats. The GDPR, of course, would still be an obstacle, because that is the real point of it, to be a make-work scheme that is an obstacle to common sense. This results in absurdities. At PIMFA’s annual dinner when we asked for an advance list of attendees, we were told that GDPR prevented its distribution. A much-respected friend who is a very sincere and devout Catholic recently explained that whereas his church had historically circulated a list of sick parishioners for whom the congregation would be asked to pray, that was now no longer possible thanks to GDPR. He is also, ironically, a devout Remainer. That, combined with his faith, should at least keep him out of Donald Tusk’s hell! 

This is just one reason why I and many more voted to leave the EU. Because it will always choose to create tangled bureaucratic nightmares over pragmatism and common sense.