As the southern heatwave leads into the dog days of summer and politicians lapse into a welcome stillness, it is a comfort to know that the furnace of Project Fear is being stoked with as much zeal as ever.
The Today programme, which has shed almost a million listeners over the past year (and what a joy it is to know that one is one in a million), invited Bank of England governor Mark Carney in on Friday to chill our spines with more tales of economic doom in Brexit’s equivalent to a nuclear winter.
There is more to come as weeks stretch into months. Loads more. Here are some examples of what might be in store . . .
British citizens’ teeth will rot in their heads because a new EU law will not have effect in the UK.
EU Commissioner for public health, Gencive Eckzahn, will publish a directive on dental flossing later this year. There is no uniform approach to dental health and hygiene across member states and the new directive would oblige EU countries to co-ordinate measures to promote orolingual well-being.
Local authorities will be required to provide dental floss to all ‘non edentate or malacostomous’ EU nationals and these interventions will be funded by a grant from a new enlarged EU budget under the control of a dedicated Oral Office in Molare, Italy. After Brexit, there will be no such provision for the UK and citizens will consequently be at greater risk of caries and gum disease.
British holidaymakers must prepare for ‘staycations’ after EU legislation comes into force in 2019.
The EU Commission has ruled that in future no right-hand-drive passenger vehicles registered outside the EU may be driven within the union, so British citizens will need to organise hire vehicles or stay at home rather than take their cars on family holidays to Europe.
Officials are working on an ‘Irish Backstop’ by which cars registered in Northern Ireland may be able to cross into the Irish Republic on condition that these vehicles never enter Britain.
HGVs are not covered by the ban but lorry drivers will require a certificate of competence for EU road use which will be issued only at an approved testing site outside Bucharest.
The EU’s transport porte-parole explains that the measure is not specifically targeted at the UK since drivers from Japan and Tanzania would be similarly restricted.
While the active ingredients and effectiveness of many pharmaceutical products has been similar across the EU, the methods of delivery and absorption by the patient can vary between member states, requiring urgent standardisation.
Important EU-funded research in this field has been ongoing over the past decade at a cost exceeding €4billion in a project involving international academics and pharmacological experts.
The work has been conducted by a narrow team led by Professor Laouj Pense and Dr Carlotta Zäpfchen from the renowned Institut Für Scleimhautforschung in Koblenz. Nicolae Rect of Timişoara’s Transylvanian Haematology Facility has also had major input.
Experts agree that rapid and effective uptake of medication with minimum waste occurs with jelloid delivery. As things stand, a visitor from, say, Germany visiting Ireland and requiring medication might be prescribed unfamiliar pills or capsules to be taken before or even after food at inconvenient times of day and with a glass of water.
The EU will henceforth agree a simple standard on pharmacology and pharmaceutical products that – like the drugs themselves – would be largely transparent with practitioners across the EU pressing this as the way forward.
The necessary EU regulation might be in place before the end of the Brexit transition period but in any event Michel Barnier will insist that an accelerated process be incorporated into any eventual settlement with the UK. The mandatory use of suppositories in places of other forms of delivery will form Barnier’s newest ‘red line’ in the negotiations.
A Commission spokesman said: ‘The situation for UK citizens is for them familiar: there will be nothing that is hard to swallow if instructions on the medicines are respected and this is merely a step towards ever mucosa union.’