UK vote at the UN's EU-dominated car regulations forum will be 'relegated to the second division of rule-making', says David Ward

Brexit will render the UK a rule-taker on the world stage of car safety standards and legislation, Global NCAP boss David Ward has said.

“In leaving the EU, the UK will be withdrawing from a complex ecosystem of vehicle regulation that has hugely improved car safety and saved tens of thousands of lives," Ward, who is British, wrote on his website.

"This has profound implications for the interests of the public and our automotive industry.”

Ward criticised Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent assertion that the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is the main decision-maker in car safety standards, pointing out that 28 of the UNECE's 56 member states also belong to the EU.

The UNECE serves to encourage economic co-operation on the Continent and presides over the UN's World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (known as WP.29), a key global standard-setting body with 62 participating countries. Of these, around 40 usually meet for votes on regulations, Ward claims, with EU states voting as a bloc. Because WP.29 only requires an 80% majority to pass a vote, EU states normally get their way.

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"So, May got it backwards," said Ward. "It's EU decision-making that underpins the adoption of UNECE regulations, not the other way around."

He continued: "Post-Brexit, the UK will be free to exercise its sovereign rights to vote as it likes on new UNECE vehicle standards. But this will be a kind of mini-decision to be taken alongside the mega-decision already taken by the EU. And most likely we will vote the same way as the EU to avoid being on the losing side. So, outside the EU, even in the UNECE, the UK will effectively be just a rule-taker."

This, Ward wrote, constitutes "a relegation to the second division in automotive regulations".

The UK was instrumental in forcing through new safety regulations that led to the formation of Euro NCAP in 1997 because it could gain support from other nations in the European Parliament. On its own, Ward said, the UK "will find it will be far harder to challenge the lobbying power of the automotive industry".

He continued: "We will also be unable to participate in the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation that is closely related to the automotive regulatory process. This will harm our universities, research laboratories and automotive suppliers."

In response to Ward's comments, a Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman told Autocar: "We are committed to securing the best deal for Britain as we leave the EU and will work hard to ensure the UK motor industry and authorities continue to thrive and that Britain’s roads continue to be among the world’s safest.

“The Vehicle Certification Agency [Britain's type approval authority] is internationally recognised and respected. We are confident it will remain one of the world’s leading type approval authorities after we leave the EU and it will continue to grow its influence within the UNECE system.

“By leaving the Customs Union, we will be able to forge new trade relationships with our partners around the world for the first time in 40 years while maintaining our commitment to high standards.

"Since we first joined the UNECE road vehicle agreement in 1963, we have been a leading contributor across all aspects of new vehicle technology. This will continue into the future, as will our leadership role, as we chair several working groups and task forces.

"The UK currently chairs several technical committees and is an active member of the supervisory policy group, and this will continue through Brexit and beyond.

"The environmental regulations are led from Brussels but these are subsequently aligned to the Geneva standards and so, once adopted, we will continue to influence the direction and stringency of any new measures."

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Comments
21

12 June 2018

Mattresses will be harder.

There will be in increase in rainfall.

Dogs will grow more slowly.

Sausages will tast sweeter.

It's all going to fall in after Brexit, you know?

12 June 2018

Sorry for all the missing letters and spelling mishtakes - wireless keyboard on low battery.  Another thing caused by Brexit.

12 June 2018
Bazzer wrote:

Sorry for all the missing letters and spelling mishtakes - wireless keyboard on low battery.  Another thing caused by Brexit.

 

If you voted for it, you take responsibility for it, it's that simple. Unfortunately many Brits refuse to be accountable and simply expect entitlements.

12 June 2018

Yes, I voted to have:Ultimate control of our judicial systemUltimate control of our trader tariffsUltimate control of our population level

Anyone who is sane would vote for that.  The other 48% are evidently insane, and want control of their lives to be presented to a bunch of Looney Euro Tunes intent on the strange death of Europe.

12 June 2018
Bazzer wrote:

Yes, I voted to have:Ultimate control of our judicial systemUltimate control of our trader tariffsUltimate control of our population level

Anyone who is sane would vote for that.  The other 48% are evidently insane, and want control of their lives to be presented to a bunch of Looney Euro Tunes intent on the strange death of Europe.

Better to have a partial influence in somthing massive than "Ultimate control" of somthing much smaller and ultimately insignificant on the global scale..... Apparently not.....

It's a shame we don't have "Ultimate Control" of the big manufacturers and industries moving production abroad and the lack of investment in industry and manufacturing in the UK at the moment.

13 June 2018

You hit the nail on the head,the UK had to take control of it's future.Just the way Trump has said to the EU re the Paris Accord,thanks but no thanks,we want to grow our economy not stiffle it with bureacratic mumbo jumbo.I have just heard an interview with an Australian CEO of an aluminium smelter who said a few days ago the power cost went to PDS700 per KWH becuase of lack of supply because of a push for renewable energy,heavily tax payer subsidied.This is equivilant to( $400) about PDS 190 a litre for petrol.   

garage man

12 June 2018

If they vote the same way as the EU bloc vote then there'll be no change from the way things are at the moment.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

12 June 2018

This is a classic example of how Britain is insanely chucking away almost all control over its own future in pursuit of a ridiculous economically-illiterate right-wing dogma based on ludicrous lies and profound delusions.

The incredibly poorly-informed and naive proponents of Brexshit witter on mindlessly about "control".... because they have literally no grasp of the complexities of the 21st century global economy. They're dangerous fools causing massive permanent damage to our economy and our global influence with their child-like 1950s-tinged view of the world.

12 June 2018
grimble33 wrote:

This is a classic example of how Britain is insanely chucking away almost all control over its own future in pursuit of a ridiculous economically-illiterate right-wing dogma based on ludicrous lies and profound delusions.

The incredibly poorly-informed and naive proponents of Brexshit witter on mindlessly about "control".... because they have literally no grasp of the complexities of the 21st century global economy. They're dangerous fools causing massive permanent damage to our economy and our global influence with their child-like 1950s-tinged view of the world.

Indeed and they argued Brexshit would "bring back control to the UK parliament", then they moaned when the UK parliament acts in ways they dont like ! The trade deals have been scuppered by the US' trade war and there wont be an extra £350 million a week for the NHS. But you cant do anything about it cos people will say youre being anti democratic. Its all Cameron's fault really - the referendum should have had at least 5 questions on it and there should have been poper provision and planning for what would happen if he lost. After he lost he just walked away with a nice fat pension and protection for the rest of his life, hes caused all manner of sh*t that will have repercusions for decades, the man is a total cnut.

XXXX just went POP.

289

12 June 2018

....only 'in your opinion' Grimble!

Personally I give the EU in its current format 10 years at most after we leave before it implodes

We will be the fuse to trigger a bigger issue. IMO

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