Safer lorries delay shows that EU power does not reside in Brussels

A brief report in the Evening Standard illustrates how political power within the European Union lies with member state governments, and not the unelected and supposedly unaccountable European Commission beloved of europhobic commentators, or the Parliament which is elected and open in its dealings, but at the same time largely unreported, at least in the UK.

In his article, transport editor Matthew Beard looks at a recent decision by MEPs to mandate a new design of heavy goods vehicle cab which improves driver visibility of vulnerable road users, namely pedestrians and cyclists. The new lorry cab design effectively eliminates driver blind spots.

The European Parliament approved the new HGV cab design, but the decision is being blocked by the European Council, which is made up of representatives of EU member state governments. The Council drafts and enables legislation on a rolling basis, and not just during occasional high profile summits attended by heads of state and government. It also operates largely behind closed doors, unlike Parliament and the Commission. The Council has apparently fallen victim to transport industry lobbying, and plans to delay full implementation of the HGV plan until 2025.

Cycling and road safety campaigners in the UK and elsewhere in Europe lobbied vigorously for the new HGV cab, and rejoiced when Parliament backed the design. Among MEPs representing British constituencies, UKIP deputies voted against the legislation, and this led to a chorus of criticism from safety campaigners and others with sufficient good sense to understand that the new HGV cab design is a no-brainer.

Fringe ideological idiocy or no, it is the British, French and Swedish governments blocking the legislation, not a motley band of nutters and fruitcakes who style themselves anti-establishment, but are in fact lumpen and reactionary in the extreme in all sorts of areas, not just those related to immigration and climate change.