I've been working with loads of shapefiles projected according to OSGB 1936 (CRS 27700). The project CRS is set to EPSG:27700 and "On the fly reprojection" to EPSG:27700 is set (I keep this as a default as I work with OSGB 1936 95% of my time).
I decided to download OSM layers from the OpenLayers plugin. When I load this, the EPSG in the bottom right of the screen goes from EPSG:27700 to EPSG:3857
Question 1: should this be happening anyway as it would suggest that the whole project has been re-projected to EPSG:3857?
As soon as the OSM layer is loaded it's way out of alignment but a quick pan seems to bring it altogether quiet nicely.
What I have noted is that (Question 2), if I try to re-specify the CRS to 27700, then the shapefiles "move" by a few tens of meters with respect to the OSM. Does this suggest that QGIS is doing a second re-projection (from what to what?)?
Also (Question 3), does it mean that if I import another shapefile that would be originally a dataset digitised with EPSG:27700 it would be re-projected to EPSG:3857 because the CRS in the bottom right of the screen was set to EPSG:3857 after the OSM import. This is all a bit confusing and logic would suggest that the import of a non-ESPG:27700 (project default CRS) should not go and change the EPSG setting in the bottom right of the screen. Anita Graser's book says on page 34 "Your project CRS will automatically be changed to Pseudo Mercator when you load a background map using the OpenLayers plugin option".
Does that mean there is no way of keeping ESPG:27700 active in the project when importing basemaps from OpenLayers? If so, what alternatives are there?
What I am trying to bottom out is to understand the correct way of importing basemaps (usually Google, Bing or OSM through the OpenLayers plugin) into my projects (always EPSG:27700) without losing alignment and getting layers to correctly re-project. I'm trying to support greater use of QGIS in my company but don't want to lose credibility by promoting the use of a tool that is misaligning datasets. Don't get me wrong. QGIS is a great tool and I am very fond of it but importing layers with different CRS's is quite common these days and getting this right from the start is half the job done.
I did quite an extensive Google search before posting and didn't come up with a recent, clear cut answer to my questions above. There is a bit of content out there on problems with older versions of QGIS, PROJ4, etc. but nothing recent for QGIS 2.0 so worth an update.