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Therefore most technical food standards have been initiated by Codex and handed down for processing into EU law for adoption by Member States. Britain, despite being a 5 member of Codex, implements its standards via the EU. But apart from that, nothing much would change. By and large, we would still be applying the same standards and would end up with the same laws. Codex is by no means unique. Rarely is it possible to see this global system in action but the Fish and Fisheries Product Committee of the Codex Alimentarius provides some insight.
The paradox is explained by the way Codex works. Increasingly, member states and trading blocs—such as the EU—adopt Codex standards as the basis for their own regulations, and are gradually undergoing a process where existing regulations are being changed so that they match Codex standards. Standards are generated by the participating countries for adoption by the Codex. Often the EU and other trading blocs promote their regulations, trying to get them accepted as the Codex standard, but the dominant driver is the science.
This determines the nature of the standards adopted to protect public health and ensure fair trading practices. A recognised disadvantage of the system, however, is its slowness. A draft regulation can take 6—8 years to go through the system until it is finally approved. Votes are usually avoided until consensus has been apparently achieved. If there is not complete agreement, the preference is to rework the draft until all parties do agree. And, at any point, a member state can veto a provision through an informal process or, formally, by calling for a vote.
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When it comes to framing those rules, Norway is fully involved from the outset. Global trade requires global rules, they produce them, and hand them back to individual nations and to blocs such as the EU. The EU takes the Codex standards and in turn uses them as the basis of its own rules for their members and for EEA members. And yet at no point in the development of rules affecting fish and fisheries products is Norway a passive receiver of rules from Brussels.
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Norway is involved at every step of the process from inception to the final formulation of the rules. Brussels simply adds the EEA rubber-stamp before passing it on. The route is Oslo, Brussels and then back to Oslo, the substantive issues having been agreed long before the standard formally reaches the EU. The Remain lobby only look back one step in the chain presumably because it suits their narrative. Those unfamiliar with the process of globalisation sometimes believe that the adoption by the EU of Codex standards and standards from similar organisations is voluntary.
That is not the case or, more accurately, it is no longer the case and that is where globalisation has moved to another level with the corresponding impact on the need or not for EU membership.
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Article 2. Many of the standards-setting organisations, such as Codex, come under the aegis of the United Nations and work in association with the WTO. There are also many informal bodies which contribute to the standards-setting process. They are supplemented by national and international trade associations and standards organisations managing standards-setting at a global level.
To take effect, it must be turned into legislation and embedded in an enforcement and penalty framework. Rather than initiating its own legislation, processing of standards originating at global level is becoming the main activity of the EU. It explains why EU supporters have been able to say over the years that the EU organisation is actually smaller than one might expect.
This has very significant implications for a post-exit Britain. Major generators of these Single Market rules are the national standards organisations which act singly and in concert to devise and approve standards for a huge range of products and devices.
As with other global bodies, the negotiations between these bodies give rise to harmonised international standards above the EU which are then absorbed back into into EU and national law. Since its establishment in , it has promulgated 19, standards covering almost all aspects of technology and business. They support European legislation in helping the implementation of the European Commission directives. Once again, as an integral part of what is termed the standards community, countries like Norway thus have a significant role developing Single Market rules, equal with any other EU Member State.
The UK, with its own British Standards Institute, also takes part in the development and approval of Single Market rules, work which would continue unchanged if the UK decoupled itself from the political elements of the EU and focused on trade issues through the EEA. Recital 18 of the Regulation identified the basis of the standards as the CEN codes, ostensibly developed for application in EU member states.
Of crucial concern though, these CEN codes were not formulated in isolation at an EU-level, but in association with the ISO, giving them global application. This was not accidental. In hierarchical terms, the ISO is therefore superior to the European bodies.
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It no longer has complete control over the standards-making process. It is a law taker not a law maker—in a less modern world, one might even suggest that such laws get faxed to the EU. Of course there is an advantage in all of this: Conformity with ISO standards gives EEA products and services access not only to the European but to the global market. Although the various elements of international cooperation tend to be diffuse, the OECD has sought to bring a degree of coherence to the subject by defining eleven separate mechanisms in what it classifies as International Regulatory Co-operation IRC.
These mechanisms range from the formal and comprehensive to the informal and partial. In particular, it notes that, for large or more advanced economies or regional blocs , harmonisation might prove difficult as both parties have usually already developed a complex set of advanced standards and regulations. When large trading partners seek a reduction in their bilateral regulatory barriers to trade, it thus concludes, mutual recognition of existing standards may be an easier and better way forward.
However, whenever possible, using global standards is the best option. As an aside, the rise of Donald Trump is in part a reaction to the effect of globalisation on America.
As an official Trump-supporting website notes:. For the UK, the Single Market may be the ultimate example of regulatory cooperation, but it is not the only one. As it stands, the Whitehall position is that the UK gains from working within the EU at global level. The belief is that a single body acting on behalf of all 28 Member States carries greater weight than if those states acted individually. In particular, this is said to apply to those challenges which have an impact globally, for example climate change, and which are addressed through universal membership bodies such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC.
On the basis that continued co-operation on the international stage could be advantageous to the UK and the EU , there is an argument that the UK should seek some continued cooperative arrangements with the EU, to allow the two bodies to work 10 as a single entity in certain fields. Climate change might be one such example. However, there is also a view that the EU does not perform a useful role at global level despite its constant attempts to do so in its constant quest for statehood.
For example, the UK Chamber of Shipping feels that there is no advantage in the EU having a greater say in the IMO under the present circumstances or in the foreseeable future.
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Those states, rather than the EU, should make the decisions. The UK would be better off in the international arena as an independent player seeking to restrain EU influence on such bodies unless it is tactically appropriate to allow it to play a part. However, this would also not preclude the UK forming ad-hoc alliances with the EU. For how to work the global system, the UK can again look to Norway, which, as the earlier Codex example illustrates, is a skilled exponent of the global system. It is able to exert considerable influence on its own account.
In some respects, the Norwegians have far more power over the regulatory agenda than the UK. On global councils, they have equivalence with the EU. The global origin of much of EU law is nowhere more evident than in the financial sector, where most of the provisions covering financial services start their lives outside Brussels. It would adopt it directly, rather than via the EU. This is acknowledged in a House of Lords report on the post-crisis EU financial regulatory framework. Some 72 percent viewed the Directive as a business threat. As an EEA member after Brexit, Britain would probably have to retain its provisions, although not without a fight.
Of course one could argue that staying in the EU allows Britain to influence i. Accounting standards, which are an important element in the Single Market are also an important part of the globalisation of financial services. Such global dimensions mean that leaving the EU, per se, would not prompt any significant change in the way financial services are regulated. Furthermore, much the same costs would be incurred.
A step back to an EEA position after a Leave vote would add on the benefit of protecting so-called passporting rights at the point of exit.
With the global financial services powerhouse of London, Britain needs to have its full voice in all global forums, unencumbered by the EU. So for financial services firms, there is no advantage to leaving London; it is a top global city that will remain a global hub in or out of the EU. This is the basic legislation which permits vehicles to be used on the roads, without which they cannot be traded—internally or across borders—and which permits the sale of safety-critical spare parts. There are currently 57 signatories, including the EU but also non-EU countries such as the major vehicle manufacturing countries of Japan and South Korea.
The EU has therefore stepped back from the role of originating standards for vehicle manufacturers in the territories of EEA member states. In a rare acknowledgement of the role of international bodies, it advises readers in its review of competences between the UK and the EU, in the transport sector, that:.