- European Commission in the UK - https://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK -

BARMY ARMY STORY: Trailer of damage

EU’s brakes ruling costs army £21m
DEFENCE chiefs have been landed with a £21million bill to fit Army trailers with brakes – because they breach EC rules. Brussels bureaucrats are insisting on the change even though thousands of the trailers have been in use without problems since 1982… A senior Army source said: “It’s true the trailers don’t have brakes, but it doesn’t matter. They are towed by other vehicles such as Land Rovers and as long as they are attached properly the risks are tiny… Another source said: “This beggars belief. It is complete madness and a disgrace.”
(Sunday Mirror 26 June 2005)

The trailers are not in breach of EC rules, as there are no EC rules requiring the army to fit brakes on trailers in the first place. While there are laws which aim to improve safety standards for all vehicles, including trailers, but it is up to individual member states to decide whether they are applied to the military, or to quote from EU legislation, whether “vehicles intended for use by the armed services” must comply. “Brussels bureaucrats” are not “insisting on the change” and so cannot be blamed for landing defence chiefs with the £21 million bill.