Valid points there, but I'm not sure I can agree with them fully.
1. Economics. As one of the articles linked to on the IEE page points out, the most commonly used styles of British cable, such as our "twin & earth," aren't widely used elsewhere in Europe. That being the case, there seems little to be gained, unless we're going to adopt Continental-style cables along with the new colors. (By the way, that link says that our SWA-type cable isn't very common on the Continent -- Can anyone confirm this?)
2. Safety. I can see an argument for common coding of appliance flexes. Appliances can be sold all over Europe, moved around easily, and as we still have varying types of connectors at least in the U.K., Ireland, Denmark, etc. people will need to change the plugs.
I don't see that the same requirement applies in any way to the fixed wiring in a building. People don't take building electrical systems with them when moving to another country (well, most
I wouldn't be too sure about younger DIYers not understanding the old red/black coding either. Even though the brown/blue systemn has been used on flex for over 30 years, anyone who has ever opened up a wall socket will have seen red/black, no matter whether it was installed a week ago or back in 1930.
To my way of thinking, the EU can't even spell properly, its Harmonisation!.
The official documentation here does actually use "harmonisation." I'm just used to writing harmonize, recognize, realize, etc. so I use those spellings automatically unless specifically referring to a different spelling.
Off-topic English lesson
: The -ize
form is actually the original spelling of these words, hence their dominance in America. The British -ise
endings are a relatively modern variant, not in widepsread use until quite a way into the 20th century. My old "King's English" dictionary from the early 1930s lists only the -ize
forms as standard in the main text, with -ise
noted as an acceptable variant in the addendum.