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Britain must change its three-pin plugs to the continental two-pin version

May 27th, 1994

Britain is to be forced into changing its three-pin plug to the Continental two-pin version costing domestic users of electricity a fortune in rewiring and jeopardising the high safety standards in the UK.

Daily Star, 27 May 1994, p2

Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph 3 June 1994

The Independent on Sunday, 6 June 1994, Leader

The European Commission welcomes the electrical industry’s initiative in this respect as this kind of harmonisation is very much in the interests of the Single Market allowing fair competition and providing a stimulus for innovation. However, it should be pointed out that the standard agreed by Cenelec – the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standards, an independent organisation consisting of representatives from industry and national standardisation bodies from a number of countries, would not force domestic users of electricity to replace their three pin plugs should a European norm ever be introduced. They could simply carry on using the same system as before. European legislation would not be retro-active. Any standard to be agreed upon would be specifically designed for use with an adaptor, should it be needed. According to calculations, the actual cost of any new plug would probably be less than half that of the current British plug.


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