HC Deb 01 February 1994 vol 236 c620W
Mr. Nigel Griffiths

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment his Department has made of the safety implications of adopting a harmonised European plug and socket system; what representations he has had from(a) trade and (b) consumer representatives about a harmonised European plug and socket system; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury

[holding answer 24 January 1994]: CENELEC, the relevant standards-making body, has not published a standard for a harmonised European plug and socket system against which an accurate assessment could be made. In considering whether any change to our present standards might be desirable at some future date full account will be taken of consumer safety issues and the many representations which we have received.

My Department is in frequent contact with the principal trade associations covering electrical appliances and fittings, and also with such bodies as the British Standards Institution, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the Consumers Association. We have also commissioned an independent analysis of the possible costs and benefits for the United Kingdom. Work is continuing on the final report from the consultants and we expect to publish the full report in the spring to form the basis for a wider consultation.