EU threat to noisy bagpipes

Share this article

AFTER straightening bananas, regulating curves in cucumbers and changing sauces into vegetables, EU bureaucrats might now be about to silence the bagpipes.

MEPs warned yesterday that new noise regulations being proposed by the European parliament could ban playing the bagpipe - because it is too loud.

The piping community last night derided the "daft" proposal and Scottish MEPs vowed to fight it , claiming the proposal had the potential to "silence the bagpipes for the first time since Culloden".

Jim Banks, the head of the Piping Centre in Glasgow, said the directive was "crazy".

He said: "If this goes through then the Queen will have to be without her piper every morning who wakes her up at Buckingham Palace. It is just daft."

The apparent threat to the pipes comes from a plan to reduce the amount of noise which the EU decides its citizens should be exposed to.

The employment and social affairs committee voted to introduce the tougher noise regulations which reduce maximum noise limit to 87 decibels, rather than the 90 permitted at the moment.

An EU spokeswoman claimed there had never been any intention of hindering or banning bagpipes.

But the Tory MEP, Struan Stevenson, warned the regulation, as drafted, would almost certainly have the effect of restricting and possibly silencing pipe bands, particularly professional bands which are covered by safety at work legislation.