I was driving somewhere or other at some point last week, listening to the chat show on the radio. The discussion was regarding Europe. The presenter was talking about anti-European thinking in the UK along the lines of 'they are always meddling in our business and telling us what to do, etc etc etc' He then went on to say this was unsubstantiated and that it was a feeling born out of nothing. Clearly he was trying to ruffle a few feathers in order to get a reaction. Immediately what sprung to mind was one of our current projects at London Stone, which is CE marks.
At some point in 2013 it becomes illegal to sell any natural stone paving products which do not have CE marks. This will involve obtaining numerous EN numbers and applying tests to all our products in order to obtain a CE mark. The point of the CE mark in this category is not that clear, we will sell the products as before, and there will be no actual physical change to any of the products we sell. All we do know is that there will be a large cost associated with this in both the time we have to spend, and the external consultancy costs to London Stone. The fact of the matter is at a time when the country needs to be focused on becoming more competitive EU directives such as this, which as yet have not been explained in a cohesive and persuasive manner, only result in exactly the opposite. I agree that some products clearly require CE marks, but natural materials such as stone paving and stone tiles, I just don’t see the benefits.