Welcome to 2004
Which was the time to get angry about this. It was a done deal in 2006, and the last chance to have any input was in the DfT's consultation in 2010.
Our (proposed and still not final, now a full year overdue) implementation is actually pretty generous and ignores some strict interpretations of 2006/126/EC. We're retaining solo L riding, are (probably) giving "direct access" to A2 at 19 (naughty naughty), and are allowing sensible leeway under the 400/600cc limits to take into account that bikes tend to be a few ccs under their 'marketing' capacity.
Some crib notes based on that being the final position:
Any current entitlement that you have WILL NOT be removed or downgraded. This is a condition of 2006/126/EC and the DfT have confirmed it. If you have A, you keep A. If you have A <= 25kW, it will upgrade automatically. So sit a test, any test, this year.
Yes, the new A1 will be as pointless as the current one, unless you're desperate to lose the L plates, take pillion candy or get on the motorway. Just wait until 19 and do A2.
The current 25kW limit is sporadically enforced and barely understood by Plod and insurers, and there's no reason to believe that the new 35kW limit will be any different, especially during the 2 years when they'll overlap. In practice, A2 might be the only license you'll ever really *need* to get, wink wink.
Yes, it'll gut the remaining market for 250s. If you have to use a 500cc+ ~35kW bike to get your license, why would you step back down to a 25kW 250? Flog your Ninja 250s now while you still can.
It's critical whether new A2 test bikes will simply need to be over 400cc and 25kW, or whether they'll need to be strictly in the 25 - 35kW range. In the former case, then training schools will just use their full power bikes for both A and A2, and you'll get to sit exactly the same test on exactly the same bike again in another 2 years, if you feel the need (i.e. the restrictors haven't already "fallen out" of your "35kW" bike). If the 35kW upper limit is enforced on test bikes, then training schools will have to run 2 fleets of bikes, pretty much the last thing that they need.
I'm not predicting the end of biking just yet though. Depending on how the exact implementation and (critically) the enforcement by Plod and insurers, then we might end up with an effective DAS at 19 instead of 21 - it could get more people onto bigger bikes sooner, the exact opposite of what those worthless worms in Brussels intended. Of course, it could easily go the other way, with the total cost and hassle making it look like it's not worthwhile bothering, or people just waiting until 24 to do the new DAS. I wouldn't fancy being an instructor at the moment, I can tell you that.