As Britain’s shocking vote to leave the European Union continues to reverberate through world financial markets, one thing is certain: Brits will no longer be banned from eating curvy bananas.
Or crooked cucumbers.
While many Brits were angered by the myriad of rules and regulations foisted on them by the EU, some of them are downright bizarre.
As reported by The Daily Mail, here are eight things which are banned or heavily-regulated:
1: Curvy Bananas and Crooked Cucumbers:
An example often cited as “legislative heavy-handedness” was the EU ban on “bendy bananas” and crooked cucumbers.
A 1994 regulation specified that bananas must be “free from abnormal curvature.”
Rules also governed the shape of many other fruits and vegetables. Cucumbers, for example, needed to be almost perfectly straight.
2: Incandescent Lightbulbs:
As in the U.S., incandescent bulbs have been phased out in stages in the UK — since 2009 following European regulations. They could now make their return.
3: High-Powered Vacuum Cleaners:
Companies were prohibited in 2014 from manufacturing or importing vacuum cleaners above a 1,600-watt limit as part of a drive to reduce domestic electricity use.
The directive was expected to be extended to toasters, hair-dryers and other appliances but it was shelved earlier this year amid fears it would drive the British public towards the EU exit door.
4: Water Bottles:
In 2011, EU authorities passed a law which claimed that scientists had found no evidence to suggest that drinking water stops dehydration.
Manufacturers of bottled water were prohibited from labeling water bottles with the claim.
5: Diabetic Drivers:
A 2011 law stipulates that diabetics who treat their illness with insulin — and have had one or more episodes of severe hypoglycemia — could lose their driver’s license.
If a diabetic requires assistance from another person, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) must be informed.
6: Eating Horses:
A 2009 law banned the eating of “pet” horses after figures revealed that around two million horses were eaten across the EU each year.
According to the guidelines, all horses, ponies, donkeys and related animals (including zebras) must have a horse passport.
7: Jams and Jellies:
In 2010, a directive was made relating to jams, jellies, marmalades and sweetened chestnut puree. EU rules stated that a preserve must contain at least 60% sugar to be called a jam.
Anything containing less had to be called a “fruit spread,” while a low-sugar jam with less than 50% sugar was named a “conserve.”
8: Olive Oil:
In 2013, the EU planned to ban glass jars filled or refilled with olive oil and served on restaurant tables, stating that only non-refillable bottles with proper labeling on the contents would be allowed.
Bureaucrats had originally argued that diners were at risk of being served “inferior” or diluted olive oil, which they said could also harbor germs if served in an open dish or bottle.
The 2013 olive oil plan, intended to ensure hygiene and curtail fraud, set off a barrage of complaints –including from Prime Minister David Cameron — and never actually took effect.
So while many complex details of the historic split will take years to work out, Brits can rest assured that they will once again be able to legally eat “bendy” bananas and use vacuum cleaners that actually vacuum.