Dieselgate: ‘Some real victories in new EU rules but UK consumers could lose out,’ Green MEP

In the wake of the Dieselgate scandal, the European Parliament voted on Thursday [19 April] for new legislation on type-approval and EU market surveillance of motor vehicles.

Responding to the vote, Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East and a member of the European Parliament’s Transport, Environment and Public Health Committees, said:

“Dieselgate revealed the full extent of the shortcomings in the approval of vehicles in states across the EU. A widespread system of emissions fraud and conflicts of interest between national governments and manufacturers has persisted for too long.”

“Many national Parliaments, including Germany and the UK, were exposed as being too close to the car industry to effectively monitor and expose, let alone prosecute, the widespread cheating. The scandal, despite critics’ suggestions otherwise, was a symptom of too little EU – not too much. This vote is a welcome step towards correcting that.”

“MEPs have taken a stand against the national Governments who fought so desperately to reject reforms; while member states in bed with the car manufacturers would rather defend the industry, the EP is standing up for the health of European citizens.”

“The rules voted on are solid, will provide greater transparency in the approval of vehicles by the Member States, and allow for enhanced EU market surveillance.”

“It is a real victory for Greens and campaigners alike. It gives the Commission the power to monitor national authorities, to conduct its own market surveillance, to organise EU-wide recall procedures and to impose penalties on fraudulent manufacturers, ensuring genuine European control of the type-approval framework.”

The senior Green politician also warned about the potential implications for UK consumers post-Brexit, adding:

“Conservative MEPs have been persistent in their attempts to block and water down car industry reforms, despite the air quality crisis blighting the UK. At the same time, their Westminster colleagues are so apathetic to the need to clear up our air that Ministers are currently facing EU legal action.”

“It is no wonder then that there are huge concerns about the Conservative administration’s will to implement and maintain these new EU rules post-Brexit. Instead, the extreme and shambolic Brexit the Tories are dragging us towards could see UK citizens and consumers as the biggest losers from Dieselgate yet again.”