There will be a cost to cheaper EU mobile fees
Bills are hard enough to pay for without a hefty one landing unexpectedly on your doormat.
The routine MoT test that throws up all sorts of engine problems. A horrible brown envelope from the taxman. The gas bill after a particularly cold winter.
More recently there has been mobile phone roaming charges making headlines, when some people have returned home from holidays abroad only to find themselves with a massive charge for data.
Last week the European Union moved to scrap data roaming charges throughout its 28 member states, so that using phones in mainland Europe will be charged the same rate as at home.
Theoretically this means that when this system eventually comes into play we can save money. But actually the opposite will be true.
For starters, most people don’t spend their lives criss-crossing between different European countries.
So while my fellow MEPs and I can look forward to lower phone bills in the future, what does that mean for the vast majority of mobile customers who spend nearly all their time in the UK?
Think about this – the mobile operators are all huge, multi-billion pound corporate giants with shareholders looking for returns on their investment.
That means driving profits from anywhere they can be found.
As the EU has forced through a way to stop the operators making money out of roaming charges, they’ll have to look elsewhere to fill that void.
And what now seems likely is that income will be replaced by increasing what I’d argue are already high charges for using our phones here in the UK.
That means that people who own mobile phones and perhaps don’t even take a fortnight’s holiday abroad once a year, will be subsidising those that do. How can that be right?
As usual the EU has not thought of the consequences and has pushed through legislation that will benefit the privileged few and not the many.
We should follow Norway
People are increasingly asking what life would be like for Britain outside the European Union.
The doom and gloom-mongers are attempting to say this great country of ours would wither and die without the nannying arms of Brussels around us.
But that’s rubbish.
To them I say one word – Norway.
That country is doing so badly outside of the EU that its citizens are among the richest in the world.
Based on a study by a think tank called the Legatum Institute, Norway has been the most prosperous country in the world in terms of wealth and happiness for the seventh year running.
It can control its own fisheries – unlike the UK, whose fishing industry has been decimated by the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy.
Norway’s fishing industry is one of the world’s largest exporters of seafood, reaching over 150 countries and producing three million tonnes of seafood each year.
Why couldn’t we do the same?
Our Scandinavian friends only enact nine per cent of EU law, pay a mainly voluntary fee to deal with EU members, and can reject things they don’t like such as the Postal Services directive.
This is because the government in Oslo can concentrate on issues directly related to its own residents instead of the bureaucrats in Brussels.
By staying out of the EU, Norway is able to have its own seat and voice on key international committees like the World Trade Organisation, whereas the UK is downgraded to merely being a part of the EU.
Which explains why Ukip wants vastly more decisions about places like Blackpool being made on British and not Belgian soil.
Bombing Syria not the answer
I am delighted David Cameron has been forced to back down on plans to bomb Syria.
As I have said many times before, we do not know who we would be helping or who we would be hurting.
The butchers of so-called Islamic State of course need wiping out – but they wouldn’t have become such an organised group if it wasn’t for the dismal state we left Libya in after our last doomed military intervention.
And more bombs means more displaced Syrians, meaning yet more people taking to the treacherous overcrowded boats that have led to countless lives being lost in the Mediterranean.
Those that do make it will then want to move on elsewhere, not least to Germany, Austria, Sweden and the UK.
And when they arrive here, where will they end up, do you think?
Will it be the leafy enclaves of Hampstead or Islington, or the rural beauty of the Cotswolds?
Or will it be towns like Blackpool? Have a guess.