This letter was sent to the Derby Telegraph by our Chairman, Edward Spalton on 10th July 2017 in response to yet more misleading propaganda from the ardent europhile Mr C.N. Westerman
Mr. C. N. Westerman attributes the tragic fire in the Grenfell tower to a peculiarly British and Conservative lack of regulation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Following a fire in a tower block in Knowsley in 1989, the British Building Research Establishment was asked to devise a means of preventing a recurrence.
They decided that this should be a “whole system test”, covering all the materials on the outside of the building to see how they inter-acted when used together. Following another similar fire in Scotland, the House of Commons recommended in 2000 (during the Labour government) that this “whole system” test, British Standard BS 8414, should be adopted.
But it was overruled by the EU with its own inadequate test – a European standard EN 13501,which became mandatory in 2002. This was again under a Labour government but it did not matter what party was in power, as EU law always trumps British law. That is the basis of the whole institution. Parliament is powerless against it, as long as we remain in the EU.
The other factor, driving the use of inflammable insulation material, was the EU’s obsession with better insulation to to combat global warming. All that mattered was the “thermal efficiency” – and none was more efficient than the polyisocyanurate used in Celotex, the plastic insulation chosen in 2014 for Grenfell. If the Grenfell installation had been tested under BS 8414, it would not have been used.
Whilst we are in the EU, we cannot enforce that standard.
Similar fires have occurred in Germany and this is reported in the EUReferendum.com blog. The author is not just another Eurosceptic but Dr. Richard North, a highly qualified former Environmental Health Officer with a relevant diploma in fire precautions. He has published many detailed articles on this topic but Mr Westerman and others might find this particular one an enlightening beginning.