Brexit and the fire doorset industry
An interview with Jonathan Agar (Managing Director of Noberne Doors) on Brexit in the fire door industry “The European market for fire doors has been traditionally controlled within each member state, the whole premise of introducing the open market was to allow member countries to trade with others within the European Union. However, in practical terms that’s not necessarily followed through due to the complexities of fire testing, EN1634 part 1 was instigated in the year 2000 with a view to actually creating an open market but what we’ve actually seen is countries testing to that particular standard but then introducing “barriers” to other countries wishing to trade within those borders.”
Open market, more of a myth than a reality?
“I think it is, we have seen a number of European door manufacturers enter the UK market, primarily because the UK philosophy is to be open in the way we allow products to pass borders, for smaller UK business there are far more hurdles, to jump over when trading with other EU member states, than there are for larger businesses such as language barriers and different country’s trading practices.”
Will Brexit affect the UK’s relationship with the Republic of Ireland?
In terms of doors, it shouldn’t do as our relationship goes far back, way beyond the creation of the EU, trading practices are very similar and obviously there are no language barriers. While the pound is weak it may even be cheaper to export to Ireland.
Short term effects?
The exchange rates have changed, the price of imports have gone up. “One supplier has notified us of a 5% increase in prices.”
Medium term effects?
Prices will rise in the construction industry as manufacturers can’t absorb the added cost yet, however, export opportunities may increase due to exchange rate. But ultimately the UK construction industry is likely to be dampened as there is much uncertainty.
Anticipated long term effects?
The necessity for investment in European standards is likely to be greatly diminished. For UK exporters trading in the Middle East, the current British standards are still recognised and accepted.
This is a period of uncertainty for all stakeholders in this industry, however domestically led manufacturers are likely to see very little long term change.
*These comments reflect the views of Noberne Doors management and not necessarily the views of the UK fire door industry as a whole.