How police could soon be able to turn cars off remotely 'at the flick of a switch' under secret new EU plans
- Secretive committee agreed to develop 'remote stopping' device by 2020
- Device 'to be fitted to all cars' and allow police to shut off fuel and ignition
- Critics slam 'draconian' decision by 'unaccountable secretive clique'
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'Draconian': EU plans to allow police to shut off any car at will using a device fitted as standard has been criticised today
A secretive EU body has agreed to develop a device to be fitted to all cars allowing police to cut off any engine at will, it emerged today.
Leaked paperwork has revealed the 'remote stopping' technology could be activated by a switch in a control room, shutting off the fuel and cutting the ignition.
The device, which could be imposed within a decade, would also allow police to track a vehicle's movements as well as immobilise it.
The plans were immediately labelled as 'draconian' by critics, who questioned whether the Government would be liable if remote kill-switches caused collisions.
According to The Daily Telegraph a group of senior EU officials, including several Home Office mandarins, have signed off the proposal at a secret meeting in Brussels.
'Cars on the run can be dangerous for citizens,' the document reportedly says.
'Criminal offenders will take risks to escape after a crime. In most cases the police are unable to chase the criminal due to a lack of efficient means to stop the vehicle safely.
'The project will work on a technological solution that can be a "build in standard" for all cars that enter the European market.'
The European Network of Law Enforcement Technologies (Enlets) has proposed a timetable to ensure the technology is fully developed by 2020.
It was described as a 'key objective', and would allow officers to end dangerous high speed chases.
The network is an offshoot of the EU's influential Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security, also known as Cosi.
EU policy: A body has agreed to develop a 'remote stopping' device allowing police control rooms to shut off cars it believes could be used for crime
MPs have reacted with fury about the 'incredible' and 'draconian' proposal.
Some have said that at high speed using this system could be more dangerous than a chase.
Tory MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell said: 'The price we pay for surrendering our democratic sovereignty is that we are governed by an unaccountable secretive clique.'
Fellow Conservative David Davis added: 'I would be fascinated to know what the state's liability will be if they put these devices in all vehicles and one went off by accident whilst a car was doing 70mph on a motorway with a truck behind it resulting in loss of life.'
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: 'This is an incredible power grab by the EU. It is appalling they are even thinking of it.
'The EU is opposed to a free society, and wants surveillance and control, not only of countries’ economies and laws but as this move shows, even down to the power to stop a person’s car'.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: 'We have no plans to introduce automatic stopping devices in cars', while a Home Office source said Enlets is not funded by them are carrying out a 'wide range' of 'research projects'.