Following Britain’s recent referendum vote to leave the European Union (EU), Traffic Technology Today ran its own poll to gauge the mood in the transportation industry. Today (July 14) we publish the results. In answer to the question Is Brexit likely to be a good thing for the transportation industry in Europe? 85% of respondents believed that it will not be, with only 15% seeing the decision as good for transportation.
The poll results reflect the mood across much of the industry. In a recent blog post UK-based sensor and analytics providers Clearview Intelligence outlined particular concerns relating to the UK’s access to research and development funding in transportation, particularly in relation to the EU’s Horizon 2020 (H2020) scheme.
“Although it was only introduced in 2014, H2020 has already benefited close to 1,000 businesses and research institutions across the EU, with more than 100 of them in the UK. H2020 launched a dedicated SME (Small and Medium Size Enterprise) instrument with a budget of approximately 3 billion (US$3.3 billion). It helps high-potential SMEs to develop groundbreaking innovative ideas for products, services or processes. Any SME can apply provided their project offers sustainable, added-value, transnational projects.
“In the short-term all existing H2020 grant agreements will be honoured in full. However, beyond this, the situation is difficult to predict. Even if the UK Government commits to increase domestic contributions towards R&D, it cannot easily replicate the important international collaborations, and the pooling of resources and infrastructure, that the UK needs in order to remain at the forefront of research on a global scale.”
The European Transport Safety Council also issued a statement raising concerns about the impact of Brexit on road safety: “The UK is currently party to a non-legislative EU target for reducing the numbers of road deaths by 50% over the decade to 2020. It may not be clear for several years what will happen to this legal and policy framework in the UK context. As such, there is a risk that levels of transport safety in the UK could suffer as a consequence.
“It will be up to the future UK governments to put in place their own provisions where current EU provisions cease to apply to the UK under the arrangement that emerges between the UK and the EU.
“The influence of the UK on European policy in this area over the last 40 years has also been one of fundamental importance. UK research and policy on all areas of transport safety has been highly influential, and the UK government has also played a crucial role in negotiations on transport safety rules since joining the EU. As a leader on transport safety, the UK will be sorely missed in EU negotiations. If the UK cannot play a formal role in future EU policy development, we would hope for, and encourage, participation on a voluntary basis.”