Your sleigh full of EU rights this Christmas

Labour MEP Stephen Hughes,  has called on people in the North East to be aware of their consumer rights this Christmas. 

Stephen Hughes is reminding constituents that they've got a sleigh full of rights as they hit the shops – or the internet – to make their last minute purchases. 

Stephen Hughes said: "Wherever you buy your gifts this Christmas, not even the Grinch can steal your consumer rights, as you’ll have the backing of Europe-wide consumer protection laws”.

“Under EU law manufacturers have to give you a minimum two year guarantee on their products so, whatever you're buying for your loved ones, you can be safe in the knowledge that you have a right to a refund or repair if things go wrong.

“And as Lapland is in Finland, even presents from Santa should be covered.”

People buying online also have specific rights. Stephen Hughes added: “If you've bought online this Christmas, whether from British companies or elsewhere in the EU, you can be confident in your right to return those goods within seven days.

"So if Santa’s little helpers are bringing your presents from Ireland, France, Germany or Spain, you can still be confident that you've got the backing of the law behind you."

Labour MEPs have been championing consumer rights in the European Parliament for many years.

The European Union sets safety rules for products sold in all EU countries so people can be confident that the products they buy have met rigorous standards in terms of safety. Labour MEPs are campaigning to try and secure even stronger standards.

Just in the last week Labour was questioning the European Commission about what they are doing to ensure that the chemicals used in plastic toys are safe.

Stephen Hughes concluded: "Hopefully the only problem people will have with their Christmas presents this year will be with the pattern on the socks knitted by a well-meaning distant relative. But it’s still good to know these EU rights are there, just in case."


A number of EU rights are relevant at Christmas time, including:

  • The right to a refund when returning goods bought “at a distance” within seven days of receiving them
  • If you get cold feet after signing a mobile phone contract, you have the right to withdraw from the contract within seven days of agreeing to it.
  • The right to have faulty goods repaired or replaced if they break within two years.
  • The right to a refund where goods bough online do not match their description.

Anyone who wants to know more about these or other rights, or who needs help enforcing them, should get in touch with Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or online at <

For more information contact Cyndi Beaver on 07764198400