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Brexit debate rages on

27 November 2018

As you read this, the debate about the Brexit deal will doubtless be raging on. On Sunday the 25th of November the agreement proposed by Teresa May was accepted by the remaining 27 EU Member states but of course the next big hurdle will be for it to be accepted in the House of Commons vote. 

BSIF has, on behalf of the industry, been lobbying for the last 18 months to ensure that we achieve a mutual recognition agreement to preserve the structures and compliance protocols for products on which the market has been premised for more than 25 years. Regardless of politics we believe that Mutual Recognition is essential going forward. 

In the event of a no deal Brexit arising the existing European standards regime would immediately be put into place in the UK. However, this country would also embark upon a new conformity assessment system specifically for the UK. As we know it would be very rare for manufacturers to create Personal Protective Equipment just for consumption in the UK, therefore any UK conformity that was insisted upon would need to be in addition to, not instead of the current CE marking system. This would add cost, complexity and confusion for all.
In October BSIF published a document titled "Safe, Productive and Prosperous Outside the EU" to try to have parliament focus on the consequences of any “No Deal" on our industry. In essence we recommended 3 things that should happen from our industry's point of view.

1. Any final deal should recognise a mutual recognition agreement for personal protective equipment - encouraging frictionless trade while ensuring lower costs.
2. Safety and Health standards should be unequivocally protected after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union 3. Responsibility for PPE standards enforcement should be moved to the Office for Product Safety and Standards and that the authorities should recognise and promote the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme, ensuring that market surveillance Is proactive and effective.

A full copy of the report can be viewed at www.bsif.co.uk