Benefits of Brexit for Britain

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Martin_B
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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by Martin_B » Thu Nov 18, 2021 10:42 pm

bjn wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 7:23 am
Thanks for the very informative digression Martin.
Shelly asked for it (although I did wonder why in a thread he/she/it claims is exclusively for Brexit Benefits - I can't see quite what it has to do with it!)
Last edited by Stephanie on Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by plodder » Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:22 pm

The problem is in the future when standards start diverging.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by Martin_B » Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:24 pm

Ivan,

Well, unconfined hydrogen leaks (eg the fuel tank on the top of the train) are much less of an issue as the hydrogen is lighter than air and so can dissipate. Confined leaks (such as in a house or commercial/industrial building) don't let the hydrogen dissipate.

One thing which many people probably don't realise is that natural gas leaks very often don't ignite. From memory, even very large leaks (>30 kg/s) only ignite about 30% of the time (based on very good historical data collected by Cox, Lees & Ang - an absolute bible in the industry!) Minor leaks (<1 kg/s) historically ignite only about 1% of the time. Partially this is because natural gas has quite a limited range when it is flammable, and also quite a wide range when it is detectable by smell (cf the mercaptans I mentioned above). Hydrogen has a much wider flammable range, and a much lower ignition energy required, and so the chance of the released hydrogen reaching a potential ignition source while in a flammable state is much higher.

10 kg of hydrogen is actually quite a lot; at atmospheric pressure that's 140 m3! And hydrogen's energy density is ~120 MJ/kg, compared to TNT which is ~5 MJ/kg. So 10 kg contains 1.2 GJ of energy, which is ~240 kg of TNT, or enough energy to raise 2.5 tonnes of water from 0°C to 100°C!

The jet fire you mentioned is an interesting case. Jet fires need a reasonable amount of pressure to sustain themselves; natural gas transmission systems have that pressure when transporting in bulk, but not when you get down to street level distribution. Hydrogen distribution could be at a higher pressure, high enough to sustain a jet fire, and that would introduce a new range of risks into the domestic setting which people aren't used to dealing with.

You do get fires at petrol filling stations (I wouldn't say very rare, but when you consider the number of filling stations the risk per filling operation ends up very small indeed) but the number of releases at filling stations is huge (anecdotally a busy 4 pump petrol station would have people spill petrol/diesel onto the forecourt multiple times a week, and that's with a relatively simple filling arrangement). A hydrogen filling system would need to be much more idiot-proof.

And you are right, Buncefield was not a fire from a pump filling station, or even anything like it. I can go into some detail into what caused Buncefield (I was involved, in a minor way, in the investigation afterwards) but it's largely unconnected to the discussion on hydrogen vs natural gas.
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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by sheldrake » Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:06 am

plodder wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:22 pm
The problem is in the future when standards start diverging.
Our standards may diverge as far as, say, Canada or Japan's but unlikely to diverge as much as China's. The thing is, exports to the EU have been slightly in the minority and the non-EU exports have been growing faster for a while now.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by plodder » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:05 am

sheldrake wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:06 am
plodder wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:22 pm
The problem is in the future when standards start diverging.
Our standards may diverge as far as, say, Canada or Japan's but unlikely to diverge as much as China's. The thing is, exports to the EU have been slightly in the minority and the non-EU exports have been growing faster for a while now.
Why is that the ‘thing’ though? Businesses now need to put another quality stream in place.

Let’s use the analogy of someone running the steeplechase. You’re saying ‘they jump hurdles anyway’. But the reality is the someone’s just thrown a new hurdle on the track whilst the race is being run. They also appear to have a vanload of various obstacles that they may or may not sling on to the track at a moment’s notice. Not a good way to get a world record time.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by sheldrake » Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:01 am

plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:05 am
sheldrake wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:06 am
plodder wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:22 pm
The problem is in the future when standards start diverging.
Our standards may diverge as far as, say, Canada or Japan's but unlikely to diverge as much as China's. The thing is, exports to the EU have been slightly in the minority and the non-EU exports have been growing faster for a while now.
Why is that the ‘thing’ though? Businesses now need to put another quality stream in place.

Let’s use the analogy of someone running the steeplechase. You’re saying ‘they jump hurdles anyway’. But the reality is the someone’s just thrown a new hurdle on the track whilst the race is being run. They also appear to have a vanload of various obstacles that they may or may not sling on to the track at a moment’s notice. Not a good way to get a world record time.
Yes, it would be a cost for people who want to export to the EU. But the majority of businesses dont export to the EU, so they wont need to change. In return, they get increased export opportunities to the rest of the world (growing faster) and regulation at home thats more tailored to them.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by Lew Dolby » Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:11 am

sheldrake wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 8:31 pm
Lew Dolby wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 8:25 pm
Sorry - are you saying that in the EU conpanies couldn't export to countries outside the EU ? Surely, they always could export to the EU and elsewhere while we were in.
No, I'm saying that they previously had to comply with EU standards even if they weren't exporting to another EU country. Now they don't have to when it doesn't make sense for them.
So, you're claiming that in th EU manufacturers couldn't maufacture goods to meet other non-EU standards if they weren't the same as \EU standards. I think you're wrong.

For example, EU standards for the bases of taps and the holes in basins is both to be round. Some country's standards are for them to be square (as was the UK standard before). This stops stiff taps turning in the hole. You're claiming EU membership bans companies from exporting to those countries with different standards. !! Simply not true.
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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by plodder » Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:30 am

Yes, exactly. UK firms now don't know where they stand and now face all sorts of new certification issues with a major export bloc, on top of the old certification issues they already had with non-EU exports. We could try and strategically align British Standards with e.g. India or Brazil but that seems completely mental and I can't imagine what the overall benefit would be.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:36 am

Lew Dolby wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:11 am
sheldrake wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 8:31 pm
Lew Dolby wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 8:25 pm
Sorry - are you saying that in the EU conpanies couldn't export to countries outside the EU ? Surely, they always could export to the EU and elsewhere while we were in.
No, I'm saying that they previously had to comply with EU standards even if they weren't exporting to another EU country. Now they don't have to when it doesn't make sense for them.
So, you're claiming that in the EU manufacturers couldn't maufacture goods to meet other non-EU standards if they weren't the same as \EU standards. I think you're wrong.
He is wrong.

Of course goods manufactured in, say, Germany and exported to the US comply with US regulations. If they didn't the German exporter couldn't sell the products in the US. As you write, the problem with that is that it costs more to produce several slightly different products, and the production in Germany will probably need to be certified by US authorities.

There are some EU regulations on exports, but they cover specific products like needing authorization to export military equipment or other strategic goods (such as equipment used in nuclear power plants), or practices that would result in unfair competition.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by sheldrake » Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:37 am

plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:30 am
Yes, exactly. UK firms now don't know where they stand and now face all sorts of new certification issues with a major export bloc, on top of the old certification issues they already had with non-EU exports. We could try and strategically align British Standards with e.g. India or Brazil but that seems completely mental and I can't imagine what the overall benefit would be.
I think it will be a mix of things. Firstly, some countries will be willing to recognise regulatory equivalence. British standards really aren't that slack or unsafe, and reasonable people will recognise that. Secondly, I expect we'll be increasingly aligned to the CPTPP. I won't pretend leaving the EU is free, it's a tradeoff; you leave the standards/customs/single market and become a third country like Canada or Japan, in return you get the trade and regulatory freedoms that countries like Canada and Japan have.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by sheldrake » Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:38 am

Lew Dolby wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:11 am

So, you're claiming that in th EU manufacturers couldn't maufacture goods to meet other non-EU standards if they weren't the same as \EU standards. I think you're wrong.
There's a host of EU regulations impacting how you run a business that you had to follow whether you were exporting to the EU or not. EU regulations are not just about the shape and dimensions of widgets. They cover areas ranging from environmental standards and labour relations through to state assistance and by no means do all of these regs represent a 'gold standard' or make sense. EU membership also meant we could only enter into trade deals after 27 other countries were aligned.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by plodder » Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:00 am

sheldrake wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:37 am
plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:30 am
Yes, exactly. UK firms now don't know where they stand and now face all sorts of new certification issues with a major export bloc, on top of the old certification issues they already had with non-EU exports. We could try and strategically align British Standards with e.g. India or Brazil but that seems completely mental and I can't imagine what the overall benefit would be.
I think it will be a mix of things. Firstly, some countries will be willing to recognise regulatory equivalence. British standards really aren't that slack or unsafe, and reasonable people will recognise that. Secondly, I expect we'll be increasingly aligned to the CPTPP. I won't pretend leaving the EU is free, it's a tradeoff; you leave the standards/customs/single market and become a third country like Canada or Japan, in return you get the trade and regulatory freedoms that countries like Canada and Japan have.
British standards aren't just "not that slack and unsafe", they're amongst the strictest in the world. We almost certainly won't be reducing our quality standards to align with anyone, so exporting to e.g. Brazil will be in exactly the same boat as now. If you think we will then you've obviously never met anyone who works for a standards body - they are proper defenders of the faith.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by sheldrake » Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:18 am

plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:00 am


British standards aren't just "not that slack and unsafe", they're amongst the strictest in the world. We almost certainly won't be reducing our quality standards to align with anyone, so exporting to e.g. Brazil will be in exactly the same boat as now. If you think we will then you've obviously never met anyone who works for a standards body - they are proper defenders of the faith.
I think this means we actually agree Plodder. I think our standards are tight enough that the only people who wouldn't be willing to recognise them are people looking to use divergent standards as a protectionist thing.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by plodder » Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:23 am

The problem is not that people won't accept our exports (which are high quality), it's that exporters will have additional costs (red tape, re-tooling, changes to quality systems, licensing issues etc) to deal with following divergence from the EU, who are well known to be particularly finickity. Simply saying "markets are growing elsewhere" doesn't address this.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by sheldrake » Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:26 am

plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:23 am
The problem is not that people won't accept our exports (which are high quality), it's that exporters will have additional costs (red tape, re-tooling, changes to quality systems, licensing issues etc) to deal with following divergence from the EU, who are well known to be particularly finickity. Simply saying "markets are growing elsewhere" doesn't address this.
I won't cure it, it's a tradeoff about whether improved access to those other markets and better regs at home are worth the cost. I think they are so far, but it's an opinion about the future rather than a fact.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:50 am

sheldrake wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:18 am
plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:00 am


British standards aren't just "not that slack and unsafe", they're amongst the strictest in the world. We almost certainly won't be reducing our quality standards to align with anyone, so exporting to e.g. Brazil will be in exactly the same boat as now. If you think we will then you've obviously never met anyone who works for a standards body - they are proper defenders of the faith.
I think this means we actually agree Plodder. I think our standards are tight enough that the only people who wouldn't be willing to recognise them are people looking to use divergent standards as a protectionist thing.
I agree in general.

However, there is a lot of protectionism in the world.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:57 am

plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:00 am
sheldrake wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:37 am
plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:30 am
Yes, exactly. UK firms now don't know where they stand and now face all sorts of new certification issues with a major export bloc, on top of the old certification issues they already had with non-EU exports. We could try and strategically align British Standards with e.g. India or Brazil but that seems completely mental and I can't imagine what the overall benefit would be.
I think it will be a mix of things. Firstly, some countries will be willing to recognise regulatory equivalence. British standards really aren't that slack or unsafe, and reasonable people will recognise that. Secondly, I expect we'll be increasingly aligned to the CPTPP. I won't pretend leaving the EU is free, it's a tradeoff; you leave the standards/customs/single market and become a third country like Canada or Japan, in return you get the trade and regulatory freedoms that countries like Canada and Japan have.
British standards aren't just "not that slack and unsafe", they're amongst the strictest in the world. We almost certainly won't be reducing our quality standards to align with anyone, so exporting to e.g. Brazil will be in exactly the same boat as now. If you think we will then you've obviously never met anyone who works for a standards body - they are proper defenders of the faith.
Also, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement commits both to keeping level playingfield with high standards in a wide range of areas (eg environment, social and labour rights, tax, state aid etc). The British government can tinker at the margins, but there would be negative consequences if it were to give British business a significant competitive advantage through changes in regulation.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by sheldrake » Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:59 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:57 am
plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:00 am
sheldrake wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:37 am


I think it will be a mix of things. Firstly, some countries will be willing to recognise regulatory equivalence. British standards really aren't that slack or unsafe, and reasonable people will recognise that. Secondly, I expect we'll be increasingly aligned to the CPTPP. I won't pretend leaving the EU is free, it's a tradeoff; you leave the standards/customs/single market and become a third country like Canada or Japan, in return you get the trade and regulatory freedoms that countries like Canada and Japan have.
British standards aren't just "not that slack and unsafe", they're amongst the strictest in the world. We almost certainly won't be reducing our quality standards to align with anyone, so exporting to e.g. Brazil will be in exactly the same boat as now. If you think we will then you've obviously never met anyone who works for a standards body - they are proper defenders of the faith.
Also, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement commits both to keeping level playingfield with high standards in a wide range of areas (eg environment, social and labour rights, tax, state aid etc). The British government can tinker at the margins, but there would be negative consequences if it were to British business a significant competitive advantage through changes in regulation.
One area where this freedom will help is that regulation goes beyond a spectrum between 'lax and strict'. You can have regulations which are incredibly finnicky and prescriptive that don't actually achieve a safer or cleaner output. The spectrum of what would be acceptable to various trading partners will increasingly focus on CPTPP norms rather than EU norms.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by plodder » Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:08 pm

We've been through this before, in detail, where we explored the fact that EU Regulations are very often subject to a wide range of interpretations by individual member states, and in many cases the UK civil service chose to be particularly prescriptive.

We talked about the Eels Regulations, for example, where the UK mandated 2mm mesh screens on all water abstraction points over a given daily volume, with strict controls on inlet velocity, whereas in Germany (IIRC) all that was required were regional management plans. I remember sheldrake saying this was because the way Parliament implemented law for these matters was very clunky as they didn't have enough lawyers to cope with the amount of legislation, or something equally silly. As if a Parliamentary lawyer would invent a 2mm mesh screen with 0.1m/s inlet velocity in the lower reaches of a river.

The Eels Regs don't relate to exports, but I think it's safe to assume that the more successful member states have the ability to interpret EU Regs in the way they want.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by sheldrake » Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:32 pm

When we talked about it before, I posted commentary from legal scholars explaining why trying to transcribe EU directives into England's Common Law framework often produced such weird results and you got cross about it because you thought I was ignoring your personal experience, so we probably won't get very far covering it again.

The change means that our civil service will still no longer be trying to transcribe regs that were created by the EU comission. The regs governing our insurance markets went from pages to volumes during our EU membership; if we assume you were right then there's a serious cultural problem in our civil service that they've been obfuscating by saying 'the EU made us do it', that excuse has been taken away, but there's clearly still work to do. If my sources were right, then the parliamentary equivalents produced in future won't be nearly so obtuse.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by Stephanie » Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:56 pm

Stephanie wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 1:24 pm
sheldrake wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 12:54 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 12:45 pm
Here is a thread for positive news about how aspects of Brexit benefit the population of the United Kingdom.
When you have time could you please move my posts about brexit benefits here please. There are one or two posts by others that are sincerely about brexit benefits to the UK too.
I've moved some over already, but I'll have to have another look to make sure I've brought over some of the related discussions too
Right, I think I've done so - please use the other thread for your sarcasm and whatnot, and let's keep it somewhat good faith in here, eh.
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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by plodder » Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:15 pm

sheldrake wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:32 pm
The regs governing our insurance markets went from pages to volumes during our EU membership; if we assume you were right then there's a serious cultural problem in our civil service that they've been obfuscating by saying 'the EU made us do it', that excuse has been taken away, but there's clearly still work to do.
They don't say "the EU made us do it", they say "I am a technocrat in a silo and this is my bleep whirr whiz bang solution". This is because the various departments don't talk to each other because (in the example of Defra) if they did then they would gang up on the minister who won't allow them to operate at arms length and wants to cut their budgets.

There's clearly a tension in all countries between the civil service and the executive, but I think the UK is unusual in that they appear to actively hate each other.

This culture has literally zero relevance to brexit (apart from the side issue that huge amounts of scant civil services resources are now focused on trying to deal with our leaving the EU, whatever that happens to mean on any given day of the week).

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by sheldrake » Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:25 pm

plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:15 pm

This culture has literally zero relevance to brexit
Well, that's your view. If you don't accept the views of the legal scholars and senior civil servants I posted in the past, how do you explain the emergence of this culture ? it certainly seems to have taken hold during our membership of the EU.

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by plodder » Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:33 pm

:roll:

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Re: Benefits of Brexit for Britain

Post by sheldrake » Fri Nov 19, 2021 2:24 pm

I literally can’t tell what the smiley means. If you want me to accept that bad regulations resulting from EU directives have nothing to do with EU membership or the uneasy relationship between common law and eu legal frameworks as described to me by senior civil servants and judges, you will need to spell it out really clearly.

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