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Stephen White
© Stokkete |

Knowing what you can and can’t do legally, morally, ethically and pragmatically is a vital element of preparation for a negotiation. Deals regularly collapse because the small print contravenes some statute or another, or goes beyond the authority of the signatories.

You may think I am leading towards yet another exhaustive dissection of the minutiae of Brexit negotiations, but hey, it’s the holiday season, so let’s lighten up and look at some of the activities which have recently been banned by authorities around the world. My attention was turned on by the discovery that you can’t teach journalism in Iran. We know this from the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe arrested and incarcerated in April 2016. Whether she was guilty or not of this ‘offence’ is not my point; rather that the offence itself, ludicrous as it is, exists at all.

Here are some more banned activities that may surprise you:

In Madrid it is an offence to manspread (sit with your legs apart) on a bus, whilst in New York vaping indoors in a public place is banned, although peculiarly this does not extend to hotel rooms. In Dubai hoverboarding is forbidden, and in Milan’s central shopping area it is prohibited to ‘hold, carry, leave on the ground, dispose of or receive selfie sticks’. You won’t be able to see a Dolphin show in Mexico City, and smoking a hookah in Toronto is also off-limits. Waving a rainbow flag in Cairo will get you arrested, and more than likely an unpleasant physical examination. Most Airbnb apartment and room landlords in Capetown are offering their properties illegally, and Uber are banned from operating in Frankfurt. Jet skiing is not allowed in Sydney Harbour, and in Tokyo you can’t swim in a public swimming pool if you have a tattoo. Camembert and Brie are illegal in China, and you won’t be eating a Big Mac in Iceland anytime soon. In fact, the President of Iceland recently tried to ban the addition of pineapple on pizzas until it was pointed out to him that his executive powers did not stretch that far.

Enough. You have more interesting things to do than read a longer list of stupidities. Have a great holiday. Happy New Year from the Scotwork Blog team to all our readers and thanks for your support through the year.

The next blog will be published on the 11th January.

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