Brexit news: Brussels red tape could see UK-made lawn mowers banned from NI | Politics | New
The EU Commons review committee has warned that red tape could mean British construction machinery is barred from entering the region. Under the regulation being developed by the European Commission, all mechanical equipment must obtain EU approval before it can be sold throughout the block. The committee said this should also be applied in Northern Ireland due to the protocol in the Brexit deal to avoid a hard border.
This has raised the prospect of another scrapping on the border patch unless Downing Street chooses not to align with EU standards.
Concerned MPs say the new regime could see Northern Ireland drift further away from the continent.
It comes as Brussels is set to agree to a three-month ceasefire to end the Brexit sausage war tomorrow.
The feud over the sale of hamburgers and sausages has plunged cross-Channel relations to a new low and sparked union protests.
In order to keep the Irish border open, the area effectively remains an integral part of the EU’s single market and controls are now carried out on certain products from the rest of the UK.
Sir Bill Cash, chairman of the EU review board, said: âThe new proposals have the potential to have a significant impact on trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, and British exports to Europe.
“The additional costs for testing are likely to mean a drag on business results or higher prices for consumers. Given the implications of the proposals, we call on the government to state its position as soon as possible.”
Under the current EU ‘Machinery Directive’, safety checks are carried out in-house by manufacturers, provided they meet block standards.
But the new proposals will mean companies must have their “high-risk” products independently verified by EU-approved regulators.
Everything from lawn mowers and industrial robots used to build cars to increasingly everyday objects like 3D printers and drones will be impacted by the changes.
The UK lawn mower market is expected to be worth over Â£ 2 billion by 2024.
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The powerful EU review board said: âThe new proposals, which could be in place by 2024, would require all high-risk machinery products to go through these independent checks before they are released. enter the European market. This could impose a significant financial and administrative burden on machine manufacturers exporting to the EU and their supply chains. The proposals would also modify specific EU security requirements for different types of goods.
âAnother potential flashpoint between the UK and the EU would cross the Irish Sea, according to the report. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, a compromise allowing an open border on the island of Ireland, Northern Ireland must follow EU regulations on a raft of goods, including mechanical goods. All goods produced or imported in Northern Ireland must comply with these rules, even when imported into or destined for England, Scotland or Wales.
âWhile this is not a problem as the EU and UK rules remain the same, when they are not, they create a complex regulatory gap between two parts of the UK. Goods made in Britain to UK standards could be barred from entering NI if they do not meet new EU regulatory standards.