Following the UK's exit from the European Union on 31 January 2020, we have entered a transition period where the UK is no longer represented in the EU political institutions, but the rules and obligations of EU membership are still in effect. This will end on 31 December 2020 and during this period the British government intends to negotiate a trade agreement with the EU setting out our future trading relationship.
BSI's membership of CEN and CENELEC continues as normal with all its obligations and rights. This ensures continuity for our stakeholders in CEN and CENELEC committees and avoids the risk of challenge to our chairs and secretaries. As we have now left the EU, members of these organisations have set a timeframe to update the statutes to reflect the UK’s departure from the EU. It is due to run until the end of December 2020 and the CEN and CENELEC Boards have proposed to extend it until the end of 2021. BSI’s membership of the international standards organisations ISO and IEC is unaffected by the UK’s exit from the EU.
We are positive that following the transition period, government practice in using voluntary standards to support regulation will not change. Where there is ambition in this or a future government to diverge from regulatory requirements in the EU or other countries, we will ensure that if industry standards are needed to underpin new laws, they represent international best practice.
BSI continues to work closely with central government departments to advise them about the way standards are used to support new regulations. Scott Steedman, Director of Standards, sits on the Department for International Trade (DIT) Strategic Trade Advisory Group (STAG), which is the government’s stakeholder forum for trade. We also have a secondee in DIT who works closely with the teams that are dealing with the new trade deals to provide guidance on the appropriate inclusion of standards in trade agreements.