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UK and EU in tit-for-tat bust up

Business Maverick

Business Maverick, Politics

UK and EU in tit-for-tat bust up

It’s a strange day when the issue of breast implants could have an impact on the political future of the EU. But that’s what political analysts suggest may be at stake in the wake of a move to create EU-wide implant regulations. By REBECCA DAVIS.

The breast implant story started in 2010 when a French company called Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) was found to have been manufacturing faulty silicone devices. The implants were banned when it emerged that, instead of medical-grade silicone, the company had been using industrial-grade which has a higher risk of rupturing.

Health authorities across Europe have now issued very different recommendations as to how to deal with existing implants. Last week France said, for instance, the government would pay for all 30,000 French women affected to have the implants removed. Britain, however, insisted on Friday that there was not sufficient evidence to recommend automatic removal, though women who obtained their implants on the National Health Service – mainly cancer survivors – will be able to have assessments.

But the implant scandal now has wider-ranging implications. This weekend the Independent on Sunday reported that Brussels was drawing up regulations for all EU states to ensure more stringent standards for implant manufacturing. With UK Prime Minister David Cameron having made it clear towards the end of last year that the UK will not tolerate Brussels dictating its domestic policy, this would “technically” mean Cameron would have to hold a referendum on the issue, according to the Independent.

Of course, as with much of the EU’s bewildering internal bureaucracy, there may be loopholes. But this issue is just the first of a series of sticky situations the UK will face if it remains dead-set on charting an independent course from Europe. DM


Read more:

  • EU breast implant rules will create dilemma for No 10, in the Independent.
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