Will Brexit Deal With US Mean More Car Imports?

Sun 19th Jul 2020

Road safety campaigners are warning of an influx of American cars with lower safety standards if the UK Government strikes a trade deal with their US counterparts.

With the Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitting that cars are likely to play a key role in a transatlantic trade agreement, safety campaigners have pointed to a spike in pedestrian injuries and deaths in the United States.

A deal with the US would likely see an increase in the number of large SUVs on the UK road network, vehicles which according recent studies increase the safety of passengers at the expense of pedestrians.

European car safety standards are the highest in the world, significantly higher than in the United States, however a Department for Transport spokeswoman has already indicated that the government would set their own safety regulations post-Brexit, telling the BBC “Road safety or environmental standards will not be diminished as part of a free trade agreement with the USA or any other country.”

The US consumer’s appetite for large SUV vehicles has seen a major rise in last ten years has seen passenger deaths drop from an average of 50,000 deaths a year in 1980 to 36,560 in 2018, but in the last ten years pedestrian deaths in the US have risen by 53 per cent.

With a deal looking likely to be pushed through, Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council said: “Cars, SUVs and other light trucks that meet US safety standards achieve equivalent safety performance to the safety standards applied in the European Union.

"A US-UK trade agreement should address the tariff and technical barriers to open US-UK automotive trade. This would increase competition and provide more consumer choice."