UK takes axe to out of date EU rules devised in 1987 as Brexit sees country ‘power ahead’

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The government wants to take advantage of Brexit to set UK rules that reflect the huge technological advances made over the last 30 years. Business Minister Paul Scully said much of the product safety regime has been underpinned by EU law and some dates back to 1987. 

The review will look at the growth of online shopping, the creation of smart technology and areas like artificial intelligence and 3D printing.

It will also consider issues such as the safety impact on smart fridges after software upgrades.

Around 50 billion devices, from toasters to robots, are expected to connected to the internet globally by 2030.

Mr Scully said: “Now the UK has the freedom to set our own standards, we are determined to power ahead with a new, modern product safety regime which will unleash the creative potential of our businesses while keeping consumers safe.

“Much of the product safety system was devised in 1987 when The Terminator was still out on Betamax. Now we want to make sure artificial intelligence and robotics are working for us and not against us by making the UK a world-leader for both safety and cutting-edge innovation.”

The government is seeking views from manufacturers, distributors, consumers and the wider public over the next 12 weeks.

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