I’ll be going to Turku in Finland next month, to deliver a conference paper on subversion and counter-subversion. Kajsa and I have decided to travel over there by ferry from Stockholm, rather than to fly. It will take 11 hours.

The ferry is popular because it sells duty-free liquor. That’s curious, as the route is surrounded by EU countries, and so strictly speaking EU taxation laws should operate. But half-way across lie the Åland islands, which are Finnish and so members of the EU, but with a special dispensation which exempts them from EU duties. Apparently most of our fellow passengers will be travelling for that reason alone; with the result that I’ve been warned of drunken behaviour on board by young Swedes and Finns. Well, it can’t be worse than the scenes in Green Street, Upton Park, when West Ham used to play there.

How interesting, however, that ‘Brussels’ permits this sort of exception! I believe there are several others like it. It rather upsets, doesn’t it, the Brexiteers’ portrayal of the EU as an authoritarian empire?

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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