Out of Europe, and into the world. That was the message of Brexiteers nationwide this time last year: away from a world of regulation, and onwards towards closer ties with the rising economies of Asia, Latin America and our old friends in the Commonwealth.

But if anything, the Anglosphere is proving even more egregious when it comes to theworld of regulation and overbearance than the EU. Only the other week, we saw first hand the baffling attitude of Australian lawmakers towards vaping, a proven means of cutting down on harmful smoking rates.

This week, in the Canadian Huffington Post, Yael Ossowski has painted an equally cutting picture of the People’s Republic of Canada, a country that has become ever more aggressive towards liberal-minded business under the command of their Supreme Leader, Comrade Trudeau.

Ossowski jumps on statistics that demonstrate the Canadians are smoking less tobacco than they used to, and points out that this development has been helped, in no small part, by the market. Much like in Australia, vaping, or electronic cigarettes, have been shown to be significantly less harmful, and act as a means of weaning people off the hard stuff. This is the reason Canadians are lighting up less often.

But can you convince the Mounties of this? Can you heck. As in Australia, authorities have proven to be outwardly hostile towards vaping. Jane Philpott (or perhaps just two drops short of a full pot) the Canadian Health Minister, has suggested the government will look to introduce firmer measures to control vaping, even though she admits it’s significantly more healthy than smoking. Where’s the logic in that?

The problem, as ever, is that big government never likes to admit that the market has anything to do with progress: what they want is to control things themselves, and in this case, as with all things nanny-state, will do things their way. And the nanny-state way means higher taxes, minimum pricing, and plain packaging.

No more illiberal a set of policies could possibly be dreamed up, yet continuously, like clockwork, they are rolled out to control absolutely any product governments deem harmful. Canada need only look to Australia to see that plain packaging does more harm than good, fuelling a multi-billion dollar, global criminal trade in illegal tobacco, so serious that the US government have deemed it ‘a threat to national security’, but there’s just no telling them otherwise.

Last week, the Canadian Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology began debating plain-packaging legislation on tobacco, and harsher regulation for vaping. Do we honestly expect sense to prevail? In all likelihood, within weeks, Canada will have rolled out the exact same legislation Australia has done, no doubt with equally devastating consequences.

Britain has emerged from the EU to join the world; sadly, as she is now discovering, in her absence the world has gone to hell in a handcart.

by Edward Baer