The row emerged after the EU insisted that Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology must be fitted to all new cars sold in the bloc from July under new Brussels legislation. It has been suggested that this rule may still be adopted by Britain despite the UK’s departure from the European Union.
However, speaking to the House of Commons’ European Scrutiny Committee, Minister for Brexit Opportunities Jacob Rees-Mogg rejected the idea pointing out that the Government was not “slavishly following the EU”.
He said: “It is not a policy that has received collective agreement.
“We are, as a Government, a deregulatory Government and we are not slavishly following the EU, this is fundamentally important.
“I see we are thinking – and I better be careful, because this may be Government policy, so I don’t want to upset collective responsibility too much – of putting speed limiters on people’s cars because the EU is doing it.
“Because the EU is doing it is no argument for doing anything any more and we want to get away from this mentality of ‘Are we diverging or are we not diverging’.
“I’m afraid I think we must get away from this idea of divergence.
“I don’t care what the EU does, any more than I care what the United States does or Singapore does.
“These are separate regulatory regimes and we don’t always want to be looking over our shoulders saying, ‘The EU is doing this, so perhaps we should do it too.”
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Speed limiters work by using GPS data and traffic cameras to determine the speed limits of each road, they then automatically restrict vehicles from breaking the limit, although they can be overridden by drivers.
Earlier this month, the Telegraph reported there would be a Government consultation on a range of vehicle safety measures that potentially reduce engine power or set off alarms if drivers exceed the relevant speed limit.
Conservative MPs have hit out at what they call more “Big Brother”technology being fitted to cars.
Motoring groups have also warned that speed limiters could cause chaos on the roads.
A Department for Transport spokesman told the Telegraph that various different technologies were being considered but that it would implement measures “appropriate for Great Britain”.
He said: “The UK’s departure from the EU provides us with the platform to capitalise on our regulatory freedoms.
“We’re currently considering the vehicle safety provisions included in the EU’s General Safety Regulation and will implement requirements that are appropriate for Great Britain and improve road safety.”
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