Conservatives pour cold water over plans to regulate washing up gloves

20-Jan-2016 @ 13:0

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EU plans to regulate household items such as umbrellas and washing up gloves in the same way as industrial safety equipment have been blocked.

Conservative MEP Vicky Ford, who is the European Parliament's lead negotiator or "rapporteur" on the European Commission's legislation on personal protective equipment has successfully simplified and limited the scope of the proposals.

The EU has had rules governing the manufacturing and import of equipment such as hard hats, life jackets and safety harnesses for over 25 years and the recent proposals were intended to modernise and simplify the legislation.

It is hoped that this will cut the administrative burdens for small businesses and enable them to trade more easily across the EU.

However the Commission had planned to extend the proposal to everyday items for private use, such as washing up gloves and umbrellas, which could have resulted in a significant increase of costs without any clear benefit for consumers.

Mrs Ford led the negotiations on behalf of the European Parliament. In order to further simplify rules and reduce bureaucracy, she tabled over 140 amendments to the Commission's text, of which 117 made it into the legislation.

Mrs Ford said: "Of course it is important to have strong product safety standards, to prevent fake, fraudulent or dangerous equipment from ending up in our shops.

"We now have simpler, clearer and safer rules for life saving equipment across the EU.

"However I do not believe we need EU rules on what we wear in our homes to do the washing up.

"That would have been disproportionate, and I am glad that we have brought some common sense to the table."

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