On Friday 23 November, the General Assemblies of the European standards organisations CEN and CENELEC approved a plan that secures BSI’s full membership post-Brexit. BSI welcomes the outcome as a “pragmatic solution” that provides stability for the European standards system while at the same time meeting the needs of stakeholders.
The decisions, taken separately in both organisations, will enable UK industry and other stakeholders to continue their important work shaping and maintaining Best Practice standards used across Europe and internationally. They also mean that UK experts will continue as chairs, convenors, committee members and policy experts to work on maintaining and developing the 20,000 European standards that are managed by CEN and CENELEC.
Standards users in the UK can continue to be confident that these standards will meet their needs as they will be influenced, as is the case at present, by UK stakeholders.
Furthermore, these decisions are a welcome confirmation of BSI’s policy position, in place since the EU Referendum in 2016, that its membership and continued influence in the development and maintenance of European standards should not be affected by Brexit.
BSI’s position has enjoyed overwhelming support among UK stakeholders. manufacturers, service providers, Trade Associations, consumer bodies and others who have been clear and consistent in their message that they want to continue to work within the European standards system and that the continued membership of BSI in CEN and CENELEC is therefore critical.
UK membership of CEN and CENELEC provides influence over market access conditions in 33 other European countries. In addition, CEN and CENELEC members play a vital role in the international standards system through ISO and the IEC. Influencing international standards is crucial for ensuring the future global competitiveness of the UK.