How will Brexit Affect ITS in the UK?

How will Brexit Affect ITS in the UK?

Home / News | posted on 29 03 2017

Following Theresa May signing the Article 50 letter to trigger the UK's departure from the European Union, how will this affect the Intelligent Transport Systems Industry in the UK?

ITS United Kingdom, the UK association for the promotion of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), has produced a note on what it feels will be the consequences of this change. This is a snapshot of the current evaluation, and is expected to evolve as the situation develops over the coming years. The potential impact of leaving the EU might include new Standards and Regulations for ITS. The UK may lose influence over the regulations which it will still have to adhere to; UK-only regulations, for instance regarding vehicle safety would be both unrealistic and undesirable. UK ITS businesses would be damaged if they had to work to multiple standards and regulations, increasing costs and complexity. Regulatory divergence is a potential risk should the EU independently pursue policies that are not necessarily in the interests of non-members such as the UK. Specific UK Government input into EU decision making for ITS, At any given time, there are various committees and other groupings operating, usually run by the European Commission, which guide EU decision making for ITS. The UK Government send representatives to these bodies, including the C-ITS Platform (which focuses on the development and implementation of cooperative ITS), and EU ITP (the EU ITS Platform where national ministries, road authorities and others cooperate in order to foster, accelerate and optimise current and future ITS deployments in Europe in a harmonised way). It is not expected that UK representatives will be able to continue to participate on these bodies. Research and Development, R&D projects in the ITS field tend to involve organisations and people from more than one country, the issues that are dealt with and the potential solutions transcend geographic boundaries. Hence the funding for these projects is also internationally sourced. Many current funding sources rely on the UK paying into the relevant EU budgets. Many UK academic and leading-edge commercial organisations currently rely on EU based funding to part fund their R&D and are highly respected internationally as a result of their work. If this EU funding were replaced by UK government funding (to replace EU investment), the essential collaboration with EU peer groups would still be lost, and any such investment is likely to be time-limited. It is likely that as the pool of available experts would be smaller, the value of the R&D would be limited and reduce over time as the 'pool' becomes more insular. Recruitment, The ITS sector has benefitted from the contribution of EU Nationals within its workforce, particularly within academia. This has been mutually beneficial with UK Nationals in the ITS Sector also working within the EU. Many ITS(UK) member organisations are part of multi-national companies who benefit from the transfer of skills, knowledge and experience both within the EU and beyond. Winning work, The EU provides UK based companies with a significantly larger market than one which is limited to the UK, conversely, it provides opportunities for non-UK companies to do business and compete with UK companies. Standard procurement rules and tariff-free trading enable businesses to thrive. A key issue for business is certainty and confidence. Delivering work, The status of UK companies with respect to providing goods and services to the EU is unclear, with regards to standards, procurement rules, access to markets and so on. Uncertainty is not helpful to businesses who are seeking to invest in people, premises and plant in order to continue to be successful. Such uncertainty includes the exchange rate which has impacts on investment as well as the cost of imports and exports. Other Considerations, Losing the protection of the European Patent registry will increase uncertainty for companies in the UK. Removing legal safeguards for companies will create uncertainty and reluctance to innovate in the UK. Loss of access to the European Court of Justice could limit the rights of UK companies.

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