Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Why a "Brexit deal" is not that important.

Ed Spalton left this comment here.

"Missing so far from this interesting correspondence is the fact that since 1994, the EU itself has been treaty-bound to accept globally agreed standards from such bodies as ISO, UNECE, Codex Alimentarius etc.

Although these come to us as EU regulations, they are made elsewhere and Brussels simply transcribes them. The standards for motor vehicles, for instance, come from UNECE in Geneva and are also accepted by many other countries than those in the EU.

Codex Alimentarius has a section dealing with fish products globally and Norway presently chairs this and the organisation effectively tells the EU what to do. The Scandinavian countries have a different regulatory outlook to the dominant Franco/German axis of the EU but, like the UK, those states in the EU have no voice on the global bodies where the decisions are actually made. They are bound by the "common position" decided by the EU Commission.

Norwegian friends tell me that they often receive unofficial requests from fellow Scandinavian countries in the EU to oppose the official EU line when the global bodies are making their decisions. I have not looked into financial regulation but believe that the BASEL accords set the parameters for EU regulation.

TOYOTA has a car factory near us and the management made a big point of saying the UK must be at " the top table" where regulations are made. I pointed out to a UKIP MEP that the top table was at UNECE in Geneva, not Brussels - so he could easily demolish that argument. He was apparently uncomprehending and replied " But I am campaigning against the EU, nit the UN". As Homer Simpson sometimes remarks " Doh!"

I have alluded to this before, but in general terms - Ed gives the specific examples. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, not much will change because so many specific things are dealt with by international agreements to which the EU is merely one party (including 'free trade' agreements between the EU and third countries); by default these will continue to apply to the UK and the UK will thus be at lots of "top tables" in its own right. The list of such agreements, conventions and organisations is more or less endless, as is the list of things that are covered.


Lola said...

Yes. That and under international custom and practice all existing EU treaties and agreements to which the UK is party would be novated to the UK on exit. (That's also What Patrick Minford's lot are saying - I think).

L fairfax said...

Very good points.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, and that. It's not that Minford is saying it, it's simply true.

LF, ta.

Graeme said...

But, on the other hand, don't expect very much to change. The scope for change in international trade seems very limited. But at least the government and BBC should be able to talk about it. It is no longer an Eu fait accompli

Mark Wadsworth said...

G, exactly. It's no big deal either way. The EU is emperor's new clothes.