Minister questioned on integrity of UK product safety standards post-Brexit
1 November 2021
Business Minister Paul Scully questioned by MPs on the European Scrutiny Committee on how the Government intends to safeguard the integrity of the UK’s product safety standards, including the new ‘UKCA’ safety marking for products in Great Britain.
- Watch Parliament: Product safety in the UK and the Northern Ireland Protocol
- Inquiry: Product safety in the UK and the Northern Ireland Protocol
- European Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday 3 November 2021
- Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Graham Russell MBE, Chief Executive Officer at the Office for Produce Safety and Standards
As the UK and EU product safety regimes are set to diverge, with both actively pursuing reforms, the Committee will explore two key concerns with the Minister:
- How the Government will ensure Northern Ireland is not cast adrift from Great Britain considering that, under the Northern Ireland Protocol, Northern Ireland is subject to changes in EU law not UK law on product safety standards.
- How the Government will prevent backdoor access, through Northern Ireland, for European Union (‘CE’ marked) goods imported to the UK and ensure compliance with UK product standards. The Committee’s June 2021 report highlighted a route allowing European goods to legally avoid any UK product safety checks by going through Northern Ireland.
UK Brexit Minister Lord Frost’s proposed plans for an entirely new protocol to replace the existing Northern Ireland Protocol do not appear to remove these concerns, as they would retain the open border between, on the one hand, Northern Ireland and Ireland and, on the other, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
The Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee wrote to Paul Scully with the Committee’s concerns following its June 2021 report.
Image: Parliamentary copyright