British motorsport looks set to be excluded from a planned overhaul of EU motor insurance rules after a European Parliament vote on Wednesday.
MEPs, meeting in Strasbourg, supported an amendment tabled by Conservative MEP for the West Midlands Dan Dalton to insist that motorsport teams and drivers would not be required to buy costly third party liability insurance.
Many teams, suppliers and other companies in the UK contacted Dan to warn that European Commission proposal would drive up costs.
However, motorsport events are already covered by comprehensive public liability insurance in the UK.
The Commission’s draft law came after a 2014 ruling by judges in Luxembourg that off-road vehicles should have unlimited third party liability insurance, including on private land.
Conservative MEPs said the legislation was so vague that it could have effectively shut down British motorsport as amateur clubs would struggle to cope with the extra costs, while many underwriters said they would refuse to offer this kind of insurance for larger events.
But Dan’s amendment included the phrase “in traffic” to mitigate the impact of the Commission’s proposal, which won the support of the European Parliament today,
This was a badly drafted proposal that should have been clearly thought through before it ever saw the light of day,” said Dalton, whose father used to volunteer as a marshal at motorsport events up and down the UK. “The vote is a victory for common sense regulation.
This would be catastrophic for grassroots enthusiasts. How could clubs produce the next motorsport stars of the future?
The next step is for negotiators from the European Parliament, EU governments and the European Commission to thrash out a compromise text that would eventually become the final law.”
He concluded: “I think MEPs have sent a clear message today. Everyone involved d: should make sure that motorsport is left unaffected by this new legislation. This is more than just a job for some people; it is a way of life,”
If the law takes effect before Brexit, or during the planned two-year transition phase, then it will apply in the UK.
The motorsport industry is worth more than nine billion pounds to the British economy. Motorsport Valley, which stretches from the West Midlands to East Anglia, employs more than 40,000 people.