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Transport: Construction and Licensing

Volume 694: debated on Thursday 26 July 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether European Union law places any constraint upon the unilateral adoption of higher road safety, vehicle construction and use requirements or driver licensing requirements within the United Kingdom. [HL5115]

Where there are no relevant EC measures that are intended to address health and safety concerns, member states are generally free to retain their domestic requirements to address those concerns. To the extent that EU measures only prescribe minimum standards, member states are free to apply higher standards in their domestic legislation. Member states are not free to apply higher standards where there are harmonising measures at EU level unless those measures provide specific exceptions. However, in all circumstances, higher standards must be proportionate and must not be disguised restrictions on trade.