Time and time again, however, when it comes to making decisions and implementing this separation from the EU, this country comes up short. For example, in the last Parliament the UK decided to cut and paste all the EU’s regulations we had to adhere to while we were an EU Member State. We were led to understand this was supposedly with the intention of seriously amending those which did not comply with our ambitions for the future as an independent United Kingdom.
Included in these were the EU’s car manufacturing regulations, which, having been copied across, have not been amended in the slightest.
On top of this, the Government is now intent on copying new EU regulations on car manufacturing, even though we no longer have an obligation to do so – such as the mandatory inclusion of ‘speed limiters’ in all new cars.
These would work using GPS technology to recognise the speed limit for the road you are travelling on and then mechanically limiting how fast you can go – unless this is overridden by pushing your foot down harder on the accelerator – hardly the safest idea! The President of the AA, Edmund King, has already confirmed he does not believe this is a good idea and will do nothing to reduce accidents. Yet the Government continues regardless.
Even in areas where the Government has announced their intention to diverge from Brussels, details and substance in announcements has been almost non-existent.
For example, the announcement last week from Oliver Dowden MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, about the Government’s intention to establish our own legislation for data security – overriding the incredibly backwards EU-enforced GDPR rules, contained little detail, apart from an announcement over ‘cookie banners’ on websites.
However – nothing more about how the UK’s system will actually work!
Covid-19 is no excuse here either – and it is not as if ministers have been moved in and out of their departments – as unfortunately, Boris has not instigated any significant Cabinet re-shuffles since he became Prime Minister more than two years ago.
There has been plenty of time to change this legislation, and frankly, why wouldn’t we – other than a clear unwillingness by those in Whitehall to actually embrace Brexit with our own rules and regulations?
Are we really saying to the world the EU got it spot on and there is no need to diverge from EU rules?
If the past is anything to go by, we are certain there are far more efficient ways to be successful in business than the rules enforced by Brussels – to the EU’s advantage, and not necessarily ours.
We need to examine how to change these imported regulations as soon as possible, to better serve our own expertise and requirements.
We can even raise our own standards to lead the world – as the Government claims they want to do – but this should very easily include a reduction in unnecessary red tape which we complained about so bitterly while we were inside the EU!
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Why are those responsible for creating legislation in this country simply happy to adhere to whatever new ideas Brussels comes up with – just as we were forced to do before? It’s clear some in Government – and the Civil Service – do not want to understand what is meant by ‘Taking Back Control’ and simply don’t want to use their brains now we have left the EU.
We should be making our own unique legislation – especially in an area like vehicle manufacturing – where new innovation could produce substantial results for companies based in the UK, and those who are already dealing with the onslaught of other requirements in every aspect of their lives.
The Government has been aware of the pressing need to change GDPR rules for well over five years, since the EU Referendum in 2016. Why is this legislation not prepared now to allow the UK to hit the ground running?
This reluctance to embrace change and opportunity is also contributing to problems at our borders.
Instead of streamlining the system to fit the modern digital age, we are still seeing lorry drivers required to carry as many as 700 pages of largely unnecessary paperwork when they are carrying goods for export and import.
This will do nothing to push forward our global economy, or provide a solution to the problems with the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
It’s about time the Government got on with modernising their systems, instead of tagging themselves onto the expensive, outdated EU systems, which have dragged us down for so long.