The meeting of the British-Irish Council last week agreed to tie the UK and Irish driving licence penalty points systems into each other.
Steps are already being taken to harmonise the UK and Northern Ireland systems as the way the law stands at the moment, the holder of a British driving licence can accumulate 9 points on the mainland and 9 points in Northern Ireland without losing their licence.
Harmonising the UK and Northern Ireland systems is a sensible move, we are supposed to be part of the same union after all. Recognising the points accumulated in the Irish Republic is also a good idea but it does set a precedent which might not be of benefit to English drivers. The EU is always looking for ways to bring more things under their federal wing and this could be seen as a starting point for an EU-wide driving licence points and fines system, administered by the EU of course with a percentage of fines going straight into the EU propaganda fund. Whilst the fundamental laws around driving – don’t drive at 80mph through a town centre (unless you’re “testing” a police car), don’t drive into pedestrians, don’t drive the wrong way down a motorway, etc. – are the same in most countries, the same cannot be said of all rules of the road and an English driver could quite innocently break some obscure local driving law and find themselves totting up enough points for a ban without even realising it. For instance, in France it is an offence not to cover your headlights in those silly yellow covers or drive your English car without an EU sticker on it. That could be 6 points under a harmonised points system. Add to that a couple of speeding tickets from 3 or 4 years ago and you’ve got a driving ban.
Anyway, this is beside the point. The main issue I have with this is that the British-Irish Council has no representation from England. They have representatives from the Irish Republic, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man but England is represented by the British government which is also representing Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To make matters worse, No Mandate Brown has pledged to put the interests of Scottish people first in all his acts and deliberations and what really takes the piss is that No Mandate Brown can’t impose the changes on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland because transport is devolved!