A few weeks before the referendum I predicted that people who were hoping we’d scrap all those European product standards and regulations would be disappointed because few if any of them would actually be changed (see this post here). So how are things looking three months after the UK opted for Brexit?
The most obvious thing is that so far, nothing appears to have changed at all. Faced with the enormity of the task before them, the government has gone to ground while it tries to work out not only how to leave but, more importantly, how to try to persuade our former partners to allow us the benefits of membership once we stop paying our subs!
But what about after that?
I believe the smart money is still on us keeping the majority of our existing product standards and regulations for many years to come.
- Extracting ourselves from more than 40 years of regulation and legal compliance will be an enormously complex and lengthy task. In addition, creating new standards of our own will not only take yet more time but also be extremely expensive
- If we hope to continue trading with Europe we’ll still need to comply with their rules anyway, and much of the rest of the world is likely to prefer dealing with standards that are already internationally-recognized, rather than a set of new ones unique to Britain
- Large multinational companies will almost certainly continue using common standards across their operations and will insist their UK operations and suppliers continue complying with them
So despite the outcome of 23rd June, I’m keeping to the prediction I made in May, ie so far as product standards and regulations are concerned, the aftermath will be very much a case of business (pretty much) as usual and we’ll still need to comply with most of the Standards and regulations we have now.