An electrician has never been allowed to remove the DNO fuse, and the DNO should have provided an isolator, so many electricians have removed the DNO fuse with the idea it's their fault for not providing an isolator, but two wrongs don't make a right. Although the DNO in one area may turn a blind eye, that does not mean they do in all areas, if they know an area is know for stealing electric then they are less likely to turn a blind eye in that area.
The HSE rules say you should isolate else where, so without an isolator in theory thought never seen in practice, you can't take the cover off the consumer unit without isolating else where first which would often mean drawing the DNO fuse, after turning off the isolator in the consumer unit so no current flowing.
But if you see the PPE that should be worn before drawing a fuse, it all starts to get a bit silly.
The objection to smart meters is they can be turned off remotely. The worry is they get the address wrong and turn off wrong meter, so Fred up the road does not pay his bill and you get cut off, the energy companies say they will not use the feature, so big question is why build it into the smart meter?
My father-in-law had one fitted, we thought great we can monitor his electric use, so we can see when he boils a kettle and switches on a light, so if the usage varies we know he is OK and pottering about, but we never did get access to his smart meter, so only method to see if OK was to phone of visit. So the smart meter did nothing that the old meter didn't do. The meter was in a meter cupboard outside so never had to let the meter reader in, and the clamp-on ammeter supplied by Scottish power that connected to internet resulted in bills being within £5 of the true reading anyway, so why fit smart meters?