Forget Fishing, The Deal is all About Standards

Posted on December 14, 2020

I was speaking to a work colleague the other day and he was adamant that British standards wouldn’t change after a No Deal Brexit (If it happens).

His theory is that British companies are renown for operating over and above EU regulations with regards to workers rights, the environment and health & safety. What I tried to point out is regulations are not put in place to stop good people operating. They are there to stop crooks producing goods on the cheap.

In my 23 years of experience dealing with clients in the M&E (Mechanical & Electrical) industry, I have worked with those who work to and above standards and others who do it because they must. Those who embrace good practice, tend to be more successful, at least in the longer term.

The Sticking Block

So, one of the sticking blocks with a trade deal with our former partners, is regulation. The EU want the UK to adhere to the trading rules that we helped to set. However, the British government doesn’t want to do this. It is claiming that we shouldn’t have to apply EU rules in a free trade agreement as ours are generally above them anyway (you may hear them prattling on about Sovereignty to get people all in a froth).  

This is where I have a problem. The EU rules that we were part of creating, are there to be adhered to, but any nation can set their own rules that rise above them. What a member state can’t do, is operate below the basic standards. So, if as the government claims, we will be operating at or above the EU standards of trading, why not sign-up to them? You can’t be penalised for operating at a higher level.

Slashing Bureaucracy

In my mind, the reason the UK don’t want to sign up to EU standards is that to be competitive or to steal business from others, we need to allow UK companies to slash bureaucracy (workers’ rights, safety, and environmental standards). There can’t be any other logical reason. No one would scupper a trade deal because they have higher standards than the legal requirement.

Of course, in the event of deregulation of UK standards, many good businesses will attempt to keep a high level of health & safety and workers rights. However, as I said earlier, this isn’t about ethical businesses, it is about those willing to engage in bad practice to make a fast buck. A quick check amongst the companies who wish to remain in the EU against those wishing to leave, will tell you all you need to know about who is ethical and who isn’t.

Millions of people have been conned into believing that deregulation of bureaucracy is going to offer them an opportunity of a lifetime. They have been taught to believe that health, safety, and environmental laws are for snowflakes. Most of them, unless they are opening sweat shops or retail/leisure outlets for unskilled workers, will end up the victims of their vote. The winners will be those who can’t be doing with protecting their workers or the environment.

It’s Not Really Fishing

You may well hear a load of old incendiary nonsense about fishing rights (70% of British fish are sold to the EU) but the crux of this deal is the EU and their unwillingness to do a deal with a leaving member state. This is because that state (the UK) doesn’t want to adhere to the standards it played a key role in setting.  The UK and its former partners set these standards to make Europe a healthier and safer continent to live and work in.

What the UK didn’t bank on was the resolve of the 27 existing states who all agreed that the UK stick to standards or they could on to WTO terms. They (The EU) don’t want this to happen, but they have no choice to stand their ground against a basket case nation who decided it could smash up bureaucracy and get a free trade deal because it is so great.

The chances are that a deal will come, and Boris Johnson is just dragging it out to find a way of making it look a victory for him so he can pretend he is Churchill. If he fails to crush the ideology of the lunatics on the back benches of his party, Britain will sink, and it will be all his fault.

It’s all rather embarrassing.   

1 Reply to "Forget Fishing, The Deal is all About Standards"

  • Norman House
    December 24, 2020 (10:54 am)

    Spot on!

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