A threat to UK motorsport was headed off today after MEPs backed a Conservative call to amend an overhaul of the EU's motor insurance rules. The vote means that motorsport will be exempt from a directive detailing which vehicles must be insured, and in what circumstances.
Conservative Internal Market spokesman Daniel Dalton MEP said: "This is a vitally important decision. There was a real threat to UK motorsport, particularly at the grassroots, and it was vital that Brussels listened to our concerns. It was a classic example of people writing laws with no understanding of how bad regulations can hurt individuals and companies."
As the Motor Insurance Directive (MID) was originally worded, all vehicles competing in motorsport events in the EU would have required insurance. The UK insurance industry indicated that most companies would be unwilling to underwrite this risk and, if they did, the cost would be prohibitively expensive and mean premiums for all drivers may have to rise.
The European Parliament's internal market committee today supported Mr Dalton's amendment specifying that insurance should not be required for vehicles "intended exclusively for use in non-traffic situations". A second amendment tabled by the MEP, excluding vehicles such as E- bikes, segways and electric scooters, was also backed.
Mr Dalton added: "The motorsport industry is worth more than £9 billion to the UK economy and there was genuine concern at all levels about the effect the MID could have. I am pleased my call was heeded by MEPs today and that we secured the right result. Common sense has prevailed.
"We can now exchange the red flag for a chequered one.''