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'Made in Britain' label under threat following new EU proposal

Most British brands currently using a ‘Made in Britain’ label in their products will no longer be able to do so if new European Commission ideas go ahead

Made in Britain label from Tiffany RoseIn a ludicrous new proposal by the European Commission (as reported in today’s Sunday Times), plans are underway to change the way that goods are labelled, so that it is the most expensive element of a product that defines its country of origin, not the country in which it was put together. With the majority of products made in the UK, from cars to clothes to electrical goods, containing a large proportion of imported components, this would mean that there will be very few products available to buy that were labelled as ‘Made in Britain’. What’s more, for businesses flouting these rules, the EU plans to impose huge fines, possibly amounting to 10% of annual turnover.

Just looking through the Make it British directory of brands that carry the Made in Britain label in their products, I can see that 90% of these would have to lose their current labelling. Here is just a few examples of the impact that it would have:

  • Dege & Skinner suits, made in Savile Row, from cloth woven in the UK but from wool from Australia, would have to be labelled as made in Australia
  • Crockett & Jones shoes, made in Northampton for over a hundred years, but from Italian leather, will have to be labelled as Made in Italy
  • David Malik Chandeliers, made in London from Czech crystal, will have to be labelled made in the Czech Republic
  • House of Dorchester chocolates, made on the Duchy of Cornwall’s Poundbury estate in Cornwall, from cocoa beans from West Africa, will have to be labelled as Made in Africa.

You get the idea.

In the week that it was announced that British exports are have risen to £80 Billion because non-EU countries can’t get enough of goods with the ‘Made in Britain’ label in, this is a slap in the face for UK manufacturing. Whilst the European Commission say that they are doing this to make country of origin clearer for consumer, how much more confusing can it be for customers than buying a Savile Row suit with a Made in Australia label in it?

Hopefully this stupid EU idea will go nowhere – the German’s are also pretty unhappy about it – but if it does come to fruition it makes me wonder whether I should just pack this all up and go home!

What do you think? Do you think that thisEU idea has any chance of going through? Would you think twice about buying luxury chocolates if they were labelled Made in Africa? If you could afford a Savil Row suit would you buy one if the label said Made in Australia? Please leave a comment below.

Image taken from TiffanyRose.co.uk



  1. Luke on August 11, 2013 at 9:34 am

    This is pathetic. If anything like this is to happen it should at least be ‘Made in Britain (using some imported goods)’, but knowing the EU they will go ahead with it, without considering the affects.

    • Mary on August 25, 2013 at 9:42 am

      When my husband was working his suits were made in Savil Row – because of the great British tailoring – now that he has retired he does not buy so many – the one he has last and last – would not buy with a made in Australia – when what he wanted was Made in Brition.

      Can’t see this daft idea going anywhere.

  2. Veganline.com UK-made Tredair bouncing boots on August 11, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Compromise: a paper slip to explain what main processes are done in what country.

    Otherwise, enough money would solve the problem; a label with a table to say where each process is done. For example, I don’t mind that a product has parts made in democratic welfare states like the Czek Republic, but I would like to support the economy I live-in as well, and it needs help, so I want to see work done in the UK. If the work is done in China, I’m not so keen but it’s good to know.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t enough money in UK manufacturing to have a big different label for each product. The process has to be lean, niche, often small-scale. It isn’t always upmarket. The minimum order for label manufacture might rule-out having different labels for different garments, even if the cost per label does not.

  3. Roy Jones on August 11, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Yet another bonkers idea by eu. So what would you called an Aeroplane perhaps that has componants made all over the world. If its made in the uk it made in the uk. Has Brussels got a problem wuth the world or what? I just can’t help thinking its all golf course chat and fat cats just having a laugh

  4. Peter Davies on August 11, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Another stupid EU idea. All the more reason for us to leave the EU!

  5. Paul Brown on August 11, 2013 at 11:12 am

    This is yet another pathetic idea from Europe – I for one will be voting UKIP unless we are out of the European Union before the next election.
    I find it hard to understand why any UK government would want to be part of Europe at a cost of nearly £10 billion a year and rising. The government argue that it is because it would reduce our trade with Europe if we weren’t part of the European Union, yet we spend more on imports from Europe than we sell – so are they trying to tell us that Europe wouldn’t want to trade with us if we were out of the club, I don’t think so!
    That’s doesn’t take into consideration all their pathetic rulings that I could list on about 20 pages – which are all negative to our great country.

  6. Travis Zly on August 11, 2013 at 11:21 am

    If products are made in N.E. England they should be labelled “Made in Pakistan”. If they are made in Berlin, they should be labelled “Product of Turkey”. Produce made in Paris should be labelled “Produce of Algeria”. Food grown in Greece should be labelled “Iraq-grown”. What about French burgers? “99% Romanian horsemeat”. The whole idea is to employ a massive task-force of Eurocrats to police industries and collect massive fines to bolster the Brussels gravy-train industry.

  7. Catherine on August 11, 2013 at 11:31 am

    What utter rot. And they wonder why many of us would like to leave the E.C.

  8. Edward Henson on August 11, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    How ridiculous – isn’t it abit late for an April Fools!?

    • queenofitall on August 14, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Every day is April Fool’s Day in Europe:)

  9. Lesley Webb on August 12, 2013 at 8:39 am

    A totally ludicrous proposal – isn’t the key element here ‘MADE in Britain’? The country of origin of the materials is a completely separate issue, surely. Bad for UK manufacturing and misleading for the consumer.

  10. […] This would mean that a product, such as House of Dorchester chocolates that are manufactured on the Duchy of Cornwall's Poundbury Estate but made out of cocoa beans from West Africa, would be labeled "Made in West Africa." Many other goods currently labeled "Made in Britain" would lose their UK labels as well – an estimated 90% according to Kate Hills of Make it British. […]

  11. Charlotte Henderson on August 13, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Hi, they would be better off spending the money hunting down the companies that are breaking trade descriptions and overtly lying about where their products are made. Ie. Jack Wills, LK Bennet, just to name two and all those little ‘quintessentially British’ companies which are no British. A key point to remember in all this is that part of manufacturing in Britiain is about providing a job market and putting money into an infrastructure. This is something that Britian is proud to produce and also so consummers know that when they buy a genuine British product they are helping their own economy to grow. I buy buy leather from a British tannery which comes from Italy does this make it British or Italian. The waters will still be very muddied and open to abuse. I agree with a former comment made in that this will be a gravy train for beaurocrats and it will make it more difficult for people to start their own businesses. EU go chase the the people who manufacture and ship from outside EU and say its made here in uk – there’s an awful lot of it about.

  12. Janet Woodward on August 14, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Is someone having a laugh??

    Its silly season in the press as there is not much happeneing as the House isnt sitting…

    There are very few products that are totally made within the UK…..so the size of the label…naming country of origin for all the components..will have to be huge.

    I wear, proudly,…a “Made in Sheffield” tee shirt…with a hallmark on it…have worn it in all sorts of places….and yes I am made in Sheffield….

    • Clarrie Coot on August 15, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Are you sure you are made in Sheffield? As you grew up, where did the ingredients for majority of the food that you ate and the drinks you consumed come from? And even if you were fed locally produced veggies and meats, where did the seed, the fertilizer and the animal feed come from? Sadly, I doubt by that criteria that anyone in the UK would count as “Made in Britain”!

  13. EnglishCow on August 14, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Well it sounds terrible BUT there is some merit in this, perhaps not for clothing BUT meat for example. If I buy British Bacon I want to know that its British not Imported meat cured in the UK, as to me that’s not British…
    HOWEVER I manufacture and sell handbags, I make them from Italian Leather here in the UK, so to me they are made in Britain.. Hmm tricky, is it double standards or is their a middle ground required perhaps.??

  14. Morag Ashworth on August 14, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Unbelievable – would we get away with a constructed in the UK label or similar to get round the Red Tape

  15. simonnet on August 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

    IT is purely ridiculous, scandalous and pathetic !! One more stupid EU idea. Beeing French but buying many products in england as soon as it is made in britain (thanks for your helpfull recomandations on you web site) I consider that its is a shame for British Factories et a trickery for the consumers.
    leave the UJ on the real british products to inform the clients and be proude of the UK industry

  16. denise evans on August 14, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Cannot believe what I have been reading, I am about to have some labels printed – after reading the times and above comments I should be safe, my linen is woven in Northern Ireland and products are made here in Worcestershire U.K. Time should be spent on correcting current companies who alledgedly profess their products are made in the U.K. and quite clearly they are not. It is quite simple really, If a product is made in the U.K. it is made in the U.K. end of !! The E.U. needs to look outside a much wider box – we all know we cannot possibly, engineer/make all our components and to purchase ancillary parts can only be good for all economies around the world. Why not look at our globe as one big engine, needing lots and lots of parts to keep going, requiring different skills, from different people and countries alike. If it is designed, oh may be not go on to the design aspect, if the product is made in the U.K. then it is made in the U.K. put your label on to say so and be proud of it. Like I am doing. Kind Regards Denise Evans – Designer, pattern maker, & constructor The naturallinencompany.com

    • Viola on August 16, 2013 at 8:11 am

      Regarding Irish linen:

      Although the linen cloth is woven in Northern Ireland, the flax is grown elsewhere – usually Belgium, Netherlands and other EU countries. So Irish linen is not really as Irish as we’d like to think. How will Irish linen be labelled in future if the new EU ruling gets the go ahead? The best option would be ‘Made in the EU’.

  17. UPENDER MEHRA on August 14, 2013 at 9:09 am

    It is probably because the “made in” aspect of the origin of goods is abused that this directive has come to the table . . . . . to be honest I have NO problem with it ., . . think about it; it says that “the most expensive element” defines the country of origin, . . . . after material costs the labour is our most expensive element, by far, but we use expensive fabrics, so if I sourced my cloth from Italy instead o the U.K. then my most expensive element would be the labour costs;

    The comments from Charlotte regarding those (maybe) not being honest or implying to the public that they make in the U.K. are more serious, for years the public has been fooled by crass PR and SPIN – just look at your TV High Street celebs who endorse exploitive manufacturing fro profit . . . to me that is far more serious a problem than what Brussels do or say, at least the Brussels office admit they are anal in their actions . . . . the High Street pontificate about “Crafted” products and about supporting the U.K./ BritIsh manufacturing while exploiting the venerable and desperate companies who will provide a supply chain at any cost – how very sad . . . .

    I have bigger issues that affect our business, country of origin is not a problem, bring on your new directive, we are ahead of you lazy bureaucrats and we have nothing to hide . . . , we ARE made in England and they cannot take that away from us – EVER!

  18. Andrew Banner on August 14, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Just another example of people in suits trying to justify their jobs. In Douglas Adam’s world, these people, along with telephone sanitisers, would be piled into a space ship and sent off to a distant land to fulfill their worthless lives among others who didn’t have a bloody clue either.

  19. Gaynor Howell on August 14, 2013 at 9:29 am

    There doesn’t seem to be any sense in declaring a product to be made in a country in which it was not – as someone pointed out earlier – completely misleading. I doubt any British manufacturer will state that their products are made elsewhere just because their materials were sourced there, which means that the consumer will be left clueless as to where it was made at all! Our products are made in Wales so we label them accordingly. I guess those ‘higher up’ might need a re-think on this one!

  20. Susze on August 14, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I’m so fed up of being told how we can live by foreigners, I will not buy it if its not clearly labelled its made in Britain. Charity begins at home and we need as much as we can get right now especially.

  21. Marie on August 14, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Incredible. If we vote UKIP we alienate LGBTs and if we vote mainstream we get this tripe.

  22. Cass on August 14, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I work at Dege & Skinner (mentioned above) – glad you’re inviting discussion and highlighting the utter stupidity of this idea.

    Holder of the Royal Warrant, everything we produce is cut in Savile Row, we employ 21 Cutters and tailors as well as supporting various trades like embroidery, which features so wonderfully on things like the uniforms of the British Army.

    Were the EU proposal to become a reality, not sure we’d adhere to their ridiculous rules, in a polite way of course!

  23. Rosa Garrett on August 14, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I think they can see that Britain is coping under the recession better than they thought. They don’t like it that we are out of the Euro and they want to make us pay. They say they are doing it for clarity. It looks like revenge to me.

    On a different note does everyone know that Vince Cable has brought in someone from Canada, paying her a gigantic salary, to oversee the selling off of the Royal Mail? I do not think it has any popular mandate. They are keeping it all hush-hush. There is surprisingly little in the news about it. They are treating PO staff very badly and morale is rock bottom. Five hundred of a pioneering and fabulous institution. Why? It made a profit last year as well I believe.

  24. janet middleton on August 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

    If Italian leather was shipped to India to be made into a footwear leather upper, then shipped backed to the UK and a leather sole welted on – should the shoes be allowed to be British made ?
    Surely india might consider putting the labour costs up in order to label the product as made in it’s country of origin ?

  25. Simone Harris on August 14, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Perhaps it might be an idea for the labels to be 100% truthful stating both where the items were put together as well as where the “ingredients” come from. This way consumers can be totally sure about what they are actually buying. If bakers can do this, I’m pretty sure other manufacturers in the UK will not find it too hard to follow suit.

  26. Kelvin Cheong on August 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I’m stunned! So being a hardcore fan of Crockett & Jones, I’m supposed to feel proud n tell everyone “hey look, this is a pair of C&J – Made In Italy!”. Nonsense! This is killing, not building “Made In Britain”.

    What is so confusing about the country of origin that needs to be clearer? Let’s see. If a product is made with components from different countries, it is “Made Internationally”. What a joke!

  27. KARL on August 14, 2013 at 11:59 am

    You really could not make this up. Would China label its metal castings made in Australia where most of the iron ore and coal to produce them come from. I think not! This is yet another utterly ridiculous EU stunt and this time it could end very badly for the Coalition unless they get their act together and start standing up to this nonsense from the EU.

  28. BG on August 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Another one of their digs at Britain, they just love to have a go at us.
    The trouble is we in this country follow the dictats of those Euro twits where as they just ignore most of them like the fishing quotas, tell the idiots to go to hell.
    The sooner we are out of that looney EU the better, vote UKIP.

  29. Steven on August 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Re Dege & Skinner,

    surely if they buy their cloth from weavers in the UK, it is British cloth. Otherwise anything with cotton in it would be of Pakistani origin, any thing with aluminium would be of origin wherever the Bauxite comes from etc. It would be down to the weavers to state that they are using Australian wool!
    There are too many companies just doing the absolute minimum in this country and trying to label as Made in Britain.
    We manufacture in the UK using materials from throughout Europe but by far the biggest single cost in our footwear is the labour content here in the UK.

  30. Erika Davis on August 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    We need to put an immediate stop to this.

  31. Mark Turner on August 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    So I wonder where we stand upcycling old sails donated in the UK? Normally made in in the UK from sailcloth of unknown origin.

    Should our unique deck chairs, windbreaks bags, cushions and diverse products all be labelled ‘made in somewhere unknown’?

    Ha ! A solution: “Made on Earth”

    (note no reference to the E.U)

  32. David Waring on August 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    So the answer is simple ignore the EU edict.

  33. Richard Middleton on August 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    This one is right up there with measuring the curvature of bananas and forcing retailers to sell cucumbers of a specified length.

    Are they seriously proposing that a manufacturer who dares to display “Made in the UK” on one of his products will be fined 10% of his turnover? So much for encouraging business! So much for giving consumers choice!

    Policies like this, which the twin poodles of Whitehall and Westminster will probably accept without a fight, make a nonsense of the British Government’s trade “strategy”, i.e. the abandonment of general manufacturing (which is to be the preserve of the wannabe World Powers, China, India and Brazil; and, increasingly, their subsidiary sweatshops such as Bangladesh and Vietnam) and concentration on high-value services and very specialised goods.

    To the Chinese, Indian, Italian, French (etc) middle classes, one of the big selling points of luxury brands is a “Made in Britain” tag.


    That’s true of cars, handbags, “posh booze”, cigarette lighters, marmalade, raincoats and practically anything you can think of. If makers of high-value items can no longer advertise their Britishness, will upwardly mobile people around the World be as keen to buy them? For instance, Aquascutum raincoats (superior in terms of style and durability to somewhat over-hyped Burberry raincoats, in my opinion) didn’t have the same cachet, after its Corby factory was closed. Where is the firm, now?

    Where would this crass stupidity stop? We keep hearing that car manufacturing is undergoing a revival but what the average TV news viewer doesn’t realise is that roughly two thirds of the components are no longer made in Britain, so the revival in car assembly is not restoring our manufacturing base (with all its skills and infrastructure). In the early 1970s, around 85% of the parts which were used to make “British” cars had been made in Britain. Today, only about 35% of components going into British-assembled cars have been made in Britain.

    Does the EU’s latest madcap scheme mean that cars, assembled in Britain, will have to be labelled “Made in Germany”, “Made in France” “Made in Spain” or “Made in, er, too many places to list.”?

    The expression, “The Devil makes work for idle hands.” springs to mind, when I think of the European Commission. However, this proposal is not merely about inventing work to justify the existence of Eurocrats. It is another attempt to chip away at national identities within the EU. If the country which supplies the main raw material is going to be named on the label, then most of the countries named will be in the Third World.

    If reports are correct, the proposed system will be totally inaccurate and not only with regard to car manufacture. Take the example of shoes, which was given. The leather may have been tanned in Italy but were the cattle (from which it came) reared in Italy? They may have been reared in France and slaughtered in Switzerland. Does this mean that the leather is French, Swiss or Italian? Then again, the untreated leather may have been finished in Britain and, therefore, be classed as “British”. How many EU bureaucrats will have to be employed, to find the answers to such questions?

    Incidentally, I mentioned British marmalade. In future, there will be no such thing, unless Seville oranges can be grown under glass in Cornwall and we have consistently good summers. We can say “Bye, bye, British marmalade!” in that case.

    Most of us would have no problem with a system of labels, similar to the one used for many foodstuffs in the past. “Processed in the UK from raw materials produced in Turkey and/ or Egypt” or “Flour milled in the UK from Canadian wheat” might have appeared on (thoughtfully prepared) packaging. The preponderance of the “Produce of more than one country” label, even forty years ago, was an indication of the difficulty in establishing and enforcing a meaningful system.

    Will it be illegal for manufacturers to name towns? Tins of Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls proudly display “Made in Wigan”, which everyone knows was traditionally in Lancashire and is now in Greater Manchester. Perhaps, “Uncle Joe” will have to trace the plantation on which the sugar he uses is grown. Can we expect to see “Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls, produce of Brazil and Jamaica” on tins, in the near future?

    Where does the new scheme leave “Melton Mowbray pork pies”, “Champagne” etc? Such products must (thanks to another piece of EU legislation) be made within specified regions or districts. I seriously doubt that all the little piggies which go into Melton pies were born and reared within the designated area. “Melton Mowbray pie, contains pork produced near Peterborough” doesn’t have the same ring.

    It’s clear to people who know how the EU machine functions why this sort of thing happens: the European Commission, far from devising its own policies without reference to anyone (as some of UKIP’s more passionate members would have us believe), is actually doing the dirty work of every unscrupulous, large interest group you could imagine, whether that lobby is lorry-burning French peasant farmers (who were the real reason Britain was refused admission to the EEC “club” in the 1960s), Big Pharma, “Big Bio-engineering”, natural gas producers, Spanish fishermen (who are partly responsible for the recent trouble in Gibraltar, which is hurting local Spaniards more than it’s hurting Gibraltarians), or Franco-German federalists, who don’t represent the wants and needs of their own peoples, let alone ours.

    The EU is undoubtedly the greatest threat to freedom in Europe since Heinrich Himmler. He was a member of an utterly corrupt, megalomanic, corporatist political organisation which tried to hide its true nature and “be all things to all men” until it had acquired total power. Isn’t that strange?

    At one level, this latest diktat won’t make much difference to dedicated supporters of British manufacturing.. Most of us can find out where things are made- with a little research. Country-of-origin labels will continue to appear on most unprocessed food items too.

    We’ll still be able to boycott French meat and dairy products (because of their appalling animal-welfare standards, not to mention what they feed some animals, namely faec… er I mean farcical European Commission policies) and Dutch fruit, veg and flowers (because of the dangerous levels of pesticides often used in that phoney-green, parochial Legoland).

    Before anyone accuses me of being xenophobic, let me say that I am more than happy to buy produce from civilised countries like Denmark, which have very high standards in food production. We had free trade- in effect- with Denmark, long before we joined the EEC.

    I also think that Britain can learn a lot from other European countries. French motorways and railways are constructed much more cheaply and yet they’re often better than ours. Standards of service and standards in manufacturing are higher in Germany. Even the Dutch have a better health service and manage their social housing well. None of these facts affects the basic point I made: a lot of the food which France and the Netherlands export to us is rubbish!

  34. Ian on August 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Please Mr Cameron, can we leave the EU and their open hatred for anything British A.S.A.P. ? We won’t vote for you again unless you stand up to these b******s once and for all. They have gone too far this time, even if this is another of their spineless pathetic threats. They are simply a massively corrupt and undemocratic dictatorial organisation anyway (more suited to South America in the 1950’s than the modern western world) that serves us no purpose in our country’s recovery. I must also say that I also agree strongly with Steven’s comments above regarding companies pretending to be “British” needing to be clamped down on (Jack Wills etc). Also, maybe our government could pay British manufacturers 10% of turnover fines for them – ideally funded by a 1000% tax on imported “Italian” shoes that are all made across the border in Romania anyway…

  35. John on August 14, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    This sounds like another load of Europhobic old rubbish with no basis in reality at all! If it’s made in Britain then there will be no problem in saying so. If it’s just a brief assembly from a multitude of imported parts; then that’s another matter.

  36. Alex on August 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Many materials/ingredients/components etc., are obviously sourced by manufacturers from global markets but the design, thought, care, quality and skill contained in the finished product should be attributed to the place of manufacture. This absolutely crackpot proposal, if invoked would cause mayhem and total confusion but I suppose that is what these power crazed simpletons are over-paid to do.

  37. Louise on August 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    How can chocolate that is ‘made in Britain’ be labelled as made in where ever the cocoa beans are GROWN? You do not make Cocoa beans, you grown them, as with a lot of raw materials for food products. They should still be ‘made in Britain’ but with a clarification ‘using imported ingredients’ if they are wanting to be pedantic.
    Most people will realise that we can’t grown cocoa beans here.
    Stop making unnecessary legislation and spend our money on something that people actually care about.

  38. Robert Williams on August 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    This is madness. Another good reason to pull out of Europe with this sort of nonsense.

  39. Jim on August 15, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Would it not make sense that the “made in” label attributes the place where the highest value is added to the product? In the shoes example, the most value comes from the maker of the shoes, not the leather.

    Yet one more reason why I think it is in Britain’s interest to leave the EU. Why not join NAFTA, which based on my experience, makes sense since the US and Canada have much more in common with the UK than does Europe. The US is already the UK’s largest export market. Also, we wouldn’t make a fuss if the UK keeps measurements in miles, gallons and pounds nor file charges against “green grocers” and the pint at the pub.

  40. Katcha on August 16, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Usually the most expensive element is the labour, so that would make the products British.

  41. Ley Holloway on August 16, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    This is one of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever heard, as another commenter said you don’t make cocoa beans, nor wool nor leather, all are grown originally. Leather is cured of course, but most of the raw materials mentioned can’t claim to have been ‘made’ at all. If this goes ahead, and surely no one is mad enough to agree to such nonsense, then any manufacturer, large or small, will have no claim to their work at all. Utter piffle.

  42. ettelevoN on August 20, 2013 at 12:46 am

    I come to the conclusion EU don’t really like UK, they are trying their best to bring down our standard. Why can’e we leave the EU? Before things get worst.

  43. SSS on August 20, 2013 at 11:57 am

    What an absolute outrage and further threat to Britain’s almost non-existent manufacturing industry. The only reason we still have a few specialist manufacturers in this country is because of the value of ‘Made in England’ on the label.

    I work for a small factory that makes high-end British-made toys – we used to source all our components from the UK but sadly we have to buy from the continent because all our local component/raw material producers have DISAPPEARED. We hand-craft our toys here in England from scratch, employing only local skilled workers. If we can’t put MADE IN ENGLAND on the label then our business is over…..Thank you Brussels – a wonderful policy to kill off what’s left of the British manufacturing industry, and put plenty of people out of work to boot.

  44. Polly Warnes on August 26, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I am speechless, what can I say. There are far better things for the EU to worry about than our labelling. Another reason for pulling out of the EU!!!!!!!

  45. Kevin on August 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Could it be that this is intended as a device to prevent misleading labelling? There have been instances I believe of Made in England labels being attached to foreign made garments where the last manufacturing process took place in England, even though this last process was only attaching buttons, or sewing in the label. If this is designed to prevent such fraud I would applaud it, however, if it seeks to prevent Made in UK from being used where the item was substantially made in the UK then this is not a good idea. If the EU wants to make things clearer then perhaps they could insist on Assembled in the UK (or similar) labels being used where the component materials are from other countries.

  46. Philip J on September 8, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Well said Kevin. There’s a lot of kneejerk reaction here that EU idea = bonkers. Actually, the basic idea that you should protect against companies “sewing on the last button” and labelling it Made in Britain is a sound one. It would be a real shame if confidence in the Made in Britain label was undermined by such practices.

    Clearly though, it’s tricky to design and enforce any system of legislation because so many goods will fall somewhere in the grey area of containing materials or components that were made elsewhere. I think you have to look at where the majority of the value is added. For example, the Saville row tailor should be fine because clearly most of the value is added in the weaving and tailoring, not in the wool production. And as said above, different labels such as ‘Assembled in Britain’, ‘Made by UK company’ or ‘Designed in Britain’ could be used for other products that don’t meet the ‘Made in Britain’ criteria. All of this would of course be hard to enforce with lots of lawyers fees but might well be worth it.

    I also agree with Veganline.com’s comments – don’t just rely on a label, give the customer extra information so they’re in no doubt how and where your products were made!

  47. Stephen Hughes on October 4, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Complete and utter joke! Ridiculous to suggest that highest value of the physical elements should dictate the c of o. However, surely there would be a case to include design and labour cost which would be a high proportion of the cost.

    We make work clothing in hyde for the hospitality industry and the design and labour element make up a high proportion of the costs

  48. Mikel on August 17, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I agree with the principle, but attempting to solve such a complicated problem with a blanket solution is missing the point.

    I try whenever possible not to buy anything made outside the EU. If I can buy British goods, I buy them. As a second best option, I choose goods made in the EU. And as a third option, fair trade certified products or anything made in countries where human rights are respected and working conditions are humane. And the labeling is terribly vague and goes quite a lenght to hide where goods originate from and where they are actually made. Brands like Hackett or Burberry, for example, who make shameful use of their British origin to sell cheaply produced, bad quality, morally dubious made in China clothes at outrageous prices are two prime examples.

    I won’t support slavery supported scams for the benefit of a priviledged moral lacking few.

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