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12


BSI POST-BREXIT T


he General Assemblies of the European Standards Organizations CEN and CENELEC have agreed an arrangement that secures BSI’s full membership


post-Brexit. It will enable UK industry and other stakeholders to continue their important work shaping and maintaining best practice standards used across Europe and internationally. The decisions, taken separately in the two


organizations, were a welcome confirmation of BSI’s policy position, in place since the referendum result, that its membership and continued influence in the development and maintenance of European standards should not be affected by Brexit.


“Finding a pragmatic solution that was acceptable to other members and respected what our stakeholders wanted and needed to happen post-Brexit has been a huge effort,” said Head of European and National Policy, Richard Collin. “We’re pleased that this has been resolved


now as continued uncertainty into next year would have had a destabilizing effect on the entire standards system and all the stakeholders that we serve across Europe.” European CEN and CENELEC members supported proposals to facilitate BSI’s continuation as a full member. “They recognized that the pan-European technical cooperation that produces European standards is separate from the political negotiations between the UK and


Richard Collin


the EU,” said Richard. “The General Assemblies have agreed to a


derogation from key clauses in their statutes until the end of 2020, during which time BSI will undergo an independent review of its processes and both organizations will agree any necessary revisions to their statutes. Director of Standards, Scott Steedman commented, “The statutes of CEN and CENELEC did not anticipate a Brexit situation but, as private associations owned by their members including BSI, CEN and CENELEC need to retain their independence and concentrate on their core purpose. We deal with standards, not regulations.” Richard Collin added, “UK manufacturers, service providers, trade associations, consumer bodies and others have told us again and again they want to continue working within the European standards system. The organizations are part of the international standards system and an important element of the future UK competitiveness globally. It simplifies market access conditions for


A joint BSI/ CEN/CENELEC conference in Edinburgh promoting the importance of standards to industry


UK industry in 33 other European countries, provides reassurance for consumers and support for regulators.” In summary, Scott said, “It does not


make sense for the UK to set up a separate standards infrastructure post-Brexit to engage with the world. In today’s global economy all nations are working towards one standard used everywhere and so it was vital that the UK maintained its seat in the European Standards Organizations. Any alternative would mean losing control over our own catalogue of national standards, which is now almost exclusively made up of international and European standards used worldwide. “British industry has been very clear.


Manufacturers want to make one product for multiple markets based on one standard, one test, rather than products for individual markets based on multiple standards and tests. Maintaining and indeed enhancing UK influence in international and European standards-making is essential for the future.”


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