In a gesture that shows grasroots opinion in European Union nations is not in line with the anti - Britain rhetoric of senior EU bureaucrats, American globalist politicians and pro - federalisation leaders of Germany and France, small businesses along the Italian riviera have started to fly Britain's Union flag in protest at a European Union ruling which would open the area to multinational businesses.
The small, independent, often family run businesses of the Italian riviera fear they are facing a threat to their livelihoods because a ruling on a European Union (EU) regulation could open the area to large multinational corporations that business owners fear could displace them and drive them from the Italian coastline, reports Il Secolo XIX. With Italy's anti - EU integration parties, Five Star and Liga Nord united in demands for a Brexit style referendum in Italy, over 1,500 local businesses have sought to protest by adopting what they consider to be the ultimate symbol of defiance to the administrative overesach of the increasingly authoritarian Brussels bureaucratic dictatorship: the British Union flag, often known as the Union Jack.
The protests come in reaction to the ruling in an EU court which compels Italy to abide by EU regulation passed in 2006 which would open the area to multinational businesses – something that the Italians have long resisted. The Italian government has opted to protect locals who have sold their wares on the tourist laden beaches for generations. Although the notorious Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is not yet agreed and will probably face a veto from several EU nations, this skewing of advantage to global corporations and resulting destruction of small businesses is precisely what business associations and trade unions fear the so - called 'free trade treaty' would permit
The 1,500 businesses taking part in the protest released a statement to the Italian press explaining why they chose the Union flag saying, "We’re all British," and added, "We’re all against Brussels technocrats who want to destroy an entire category of business owners".
One businessman, Riccardo Borgo, who runs a small business on the beach in the Liguria region told Italian press: "We, like the British, want Europe to change pace," directly referring to the British referendum (Brexit) on EU membership. Sr. Borgo did not mince words with what he thought would be the inevitable consequences of continued overreach from Brussels saying: "Otherwise, ideally, we’ll leave with the door slamming."
The British vote to leave the EU has had a huge knock on effect across Europe with many parties seeing the success of the leave campaign as a way to either reform the EU, or leave it entirely.
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