The following summary is a news extract made by Blumano via the Financial Times:

Recently the Financial Times published an article discussing the UK’s possible bid to stay in the “European standards system for industry products” after Brexit.

According to the FT article, the UK is to apply to stay in the standards system following Brexit, heeding warnings from business. FT states that “following warnings from business that creating British-only benchmarks would be an ‘isolationist move’ that would pile costs on companies”. Business secretary Greg Clark is noted to have supported the UK staying in the European standard settings bodies and “shrugging off suggestions from trade secretary Liam Fox” that the UK should take a separate path.

FT notes that “European standards set benchmarks for the safety and quality of products and services across multiple sectors…to protect consumers and facilitate cross-border trade”. The article also discusses that Mr. Fox thinks if the UK sticks to the standards it would make it more difficult to enter into trade deals with other countries, including the US. Mr. Clark has given his support to those who are against a “British-only approach”, and FT says industry leaders have stated a UK only approach would bring “fragmentation, cost and confusion to British industry and consumer post-Brexit”.

Mr. Clark has also written a letter to Scott Steedman, director of the British Standards Institution, which FT says urges him to “maintain national influence in the setting of European and international benchmarks”. Mr. Clark’s letter gives “government approval to a bid to change the statutes of European standards organisations, which specify that members must come from the EU or the European Free Trade Association”. He also expects “approval to be forthcoming” since “UK industry experts and the BSI play a key role in setting European standards”. FT claims that last month, 34 industry figures representing multiple industries wrote to Mr. Clark “to urge him to back the proposal” and that “it will help post-Brexit global Britain to continue trade in Europe and internationally”.

FT states that European standards are made by the CEN and CENELEC which are not EU agencies. They’ve also quoted David Bell, director of BSI standards policy that British business didn’t want to be on two different models “one track national, one track European”.

Read more at FT.


[Financial Times – original article]

[Picture: © FT montage  – Business secretary Greg Clark wants the UK to remain a full member of European standard setting bodies]