Good Greif. How does the smaller nations like AU/NZ set their own standards survive. I had shown an example of differing fuel standards between AU to EU that doesn’t stop Euro countries from exporting vehicles to AU they use different techniques and or different motors for that market than their own because of the difference in fuels standards.
When they set their own standards they erect a barrier to imports which foreign exporters will need to overcome, and the more divergent those standards and the smaller the country the fewer exporters will bother with that, constricting choice for the consumers and businesses in that country.
That can be intentional, but it always restricts trade.
And only the biggest blocs and countries can actually hope for their own standards being adopted by other countries; The EU is one of the very few such exceptions, but the UK will almost certainly not manage that, same as the other mid-sized countries.
This was different when England ruled an empire and simply dictated
its rules and regulations to its colonies, but the UK doesn't have any colonies any more, maybe except for Gibraltar and Northern Ireland.
What tosh of course it could, those who want to trade with Germany will adhere to its sovereign national standards
Nowadays any EU manufacturer can automatically ship their products all over the EU and even foreign exporters have to deal with just one EU compliance regime for the entire Single Market of 450 million consumers (and corresponding businesses). "sovereign national standards" have mostly been replaced with Single Market standards jointly agreed between the sovereign EU member countries.
The enormous gravitational pull of that huge market and its political and legal framework makes it attractive even for other countries to adopt parts of those same rules for themselves so they have it easier to import from and to export to the European Union, which reduces frictions and gives an advantage to businesses and consumers there.
The UK diverging from the EU, on the other hand, erects new barriers which impede trade in both directions because there is an extra cost to even just validate
compliance even if it factually happens to exist, and the UK market is too small for any other countries to bother adopting any UK rules because that only makes it harder for them to trade with the EU without UK trade being able to make up the shortfall.
The original concept was to preserve the just won peace in Europe under the ECSC by creating a common market for coal and steel and natural resources.
Yes, but ironically pushed primarily by the UK under Thatcher the EEC/EU then also developed the Single Market on top of this peace project, and that's what we're talking about here!
No one is suggesting it was not a worthy goal, but the mechanism from its humble beginnings have gone too far, it might be something that continental Europeans in favour of but not for the majority who voted in the EU referenda.
The Single Market was actually a very good idea and it is a major stability factor now.
Too bad the current UK government is hell-bent on shutting itself out from it.