Director of Wilsham Consulting Ltd @ www.wilsham.co.uk
Director of independent civil engineering consultancy - Wilsham Consulting www.wilsham.co.uk
Comment on: Product | Fixings Eurocode 'should be welcomed'
Approximately 95% of UK consultants and contractors work is undertaken in the UK, or internationally outside the EU.
The EU standards - BSEN752 for example are a complete waste of paper. The national annex is 10 times larger than the bland meaningless "agreed section".
If the UK forces UK projects to be designed and constructed to EU standards, we will be burdening our clients with high costs and poor quality. We must go back to the sensible clear British Standards. Sure there will be a small vocal minority of foreign owned companies who complain, but they should not be allowed to hurt the overwhelming majority of clients who would considerably gain by using standards which are appropriate for the UK.
Comment on: Analysis | Are Brexit nuclear fears justified?
UK Atomic Energy Authority chief executive Ian Chapman should he held accountable for why the UK public gets such a poor commercial deal. The Spanish based procurement team award most of the contracts to Spanish and French companies.
Comment on: Backlash over government's Euratom stance
Obviously close mutual cooperation will , as it does with certain other non European countries already, continue. The Centre of European Nuclear Research (CERN) for example, is based in non-EU Switzerland and includes many scientists from around the world, from South Korea to Canada.
I previously wrote to the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy and made a freedom of information request to ask what the UK total or percentage contribution was and likewise what total or percentage of spending when to the UK. They confirmed that they did not record any financial data relating to individual member states, so could not confirm if UK membership was financially beneficial for the UK or not. At face to face meetings they said the French and Spanish largely awarded contracts to their own national companies. Apart from Atkins practically no other major contracts were awarded to UK companies and that we were getting a very poor deal. We must face the hard fact that the EU rules on fair competition have never been applied and we are regarded as cash cows to milk.
We now need to enter positive and commercially realistic discussions with our European friends that we should no longer be treated as stupid cash cow, but as an intelligent business partner looking to work in cooperation for mutual gain.
Comment on: Comment | Winning the emotional argument
Neither the UK's referendum on remaining within the EU club, nor the Republican win over the Democrats in the US were anything to do with "emotional arguments", but were based on the public reviewing facts and deciding in a reasonably balanced way that change was necessary.
Where Mark is correct, is that many politicians reverted to the politics of fear and emotive language and used their power and influence over much of the mainstream media to try and manipulate the public against change, so to ensure the preservation of the wealthy elite.
The hard facts are quite different to the populist rhetoric. The average growth of European Countries with the Euro has been half that of those without. Unemployment in Southern Europe is 4 times that on average to the UK. Greece has over 50% youth unemployment. Both Italy and Greece have had unelected EU technocrat prime ministers imposed on them by the EU against their will.
As former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King said he “resented suggestions by friends and acquaintances that Britons who even contemplated voting for Brexit were ignorant or racist". The debate was about sovereignty, democracy, internationalism and fair trade.
The choice was clear. Vote for the UK to return to being an independent global trading nation, or merge into a single totalitarian European Union. Britain has a proud history of standing up against those who wished to create such a totalitarian European state - Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin and now Jean-Claude Juncker.
To quote 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson " I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical".
Sir Alexander Gibb, Sir Owen Williams, Sir William Halcrow, etc all delivered projects internationally and were not tied only to our neighbours in Europe. As Civil Engineers we have perhaps the most to gain in any sector from an opening up of free and fair completion in the across the World, unhindered by the EU and its anti fair trade protective cartel - the common market and custom union.
Now, with the internet and jet aircraft, the physical location matters even less than it did previously. As Civil Engineers we need to embrace change and the new opportunities it will present right around the World.
The Scottish have a proud history of Civil Engineering at an international level. Why would them wish to tie themselves to the sinking ship of the EU? Not that anyone in the EU has suggested they would let Scotland join anyway. Italy, Greece and Spain have suffered 20 years of stagnation and have 10 times the unemployment for young civil engineering professionals compared to the UK.
Nationally what is needed is more serious UK infrastructure investment in the Northern Powerhouse and funds to local community led projects across the UK.
Within 2 years we will have the opportunity to deliver world leading civil engineering design through free and fair international trade partnerships unhindered by the EU.