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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

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Dr Scott Steedman CBE, Director of Standards at The British Standards Institution (BSI), has given evidence to the House of Lords EU Justice sub-committee regarding European Standards regulation post-Brexit.


As reported by the BBC, Dr Steedman warned that the UK’s membership of European bodies that set industry-wide standards cannot be taken for granted after Brexit.

The BBC article explains that the UK is one of 34 members of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC). These bodies agree common standards and technical specifications for consumer products such as fridges and toasters and for materials in sectors ranging from chemicals and construction to transport and packaging. Such standards are used across the European Single Market and further afield, but the two bodies are private associations and not part of the European Union.

Dr Steedman’s evidence brought attention to the need for the articles of association to be rewritten as current versions assume members are in the EU, the European Free Trade Association or seeking to join the EU. He said: “The statutes were not written imagining there would be a country in the situation of the UK. Were we excluded, that would leave consumers and our industries with no voice in the European standards domain and that would be extremely damaging.

"There would be quite a serious risk that our industries would be using European standards, because they have to, but they would have had no influence over their shaping.”

Current government plans are to maintain existing levels of consumer protection after Brexit as it completes the process of converting EU law on to the domestic statute book.

Read the BBC article here