Bike industry issue stark warning to British motorsport

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The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), the Amateur Motor Cycle Association (AMCA) and the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) have issued a bombastic joint statement about the future of British motorsport, warning that a recent European Court ruling could bring motorcycle and automotive sport to an end across Europe.

The joint statement, issued in response to a British government public consultation document issued after the so-called ‘Vnuk judgement’ court ruling about a Slovenian farmer injured by an uninsured tractor on private property, claims that in the future EU legislation could lead to mandatory insurance for al motorised vehicles, on and off road, to have third party insurance.

Speaking in the statement, CEO of the MCIA Steve Kenward issued a dire warning about the threat posed.

“At a stroke, this would wipe out a successful industry and all the jobs that go with it, as well as eliminating a popular leisure pursuit for 1.9 million people, along with the boost that this gives to both local and national economies.

“If the government implements the Vnuk judgment un-amended, British motorcycle sport would end in the UK.  Given that we are coming out of the EU, we are astonished that the government is even considering an option to implement Vnuk.  We call on ministers to end uncertainty and put a stop to Vnuk in the UK.”

However, issued as an appeal to the government as they make plans for how to both implement the ruling, it looks almost impossible that the ruling will ever pass into law without an exemption for motorsports, as has taken place in the past.

Admitting in their statement that the industry employs 50,000 people in the UK alone and brings in £11 billion annually, the chances of the industry not finding some way to go forwards under the ruling are practically nil.

A similar issue recently arose in the US, when the Environmental Protection Agency attempted to rule that aftermarket parts such as exhausts were covered under the Clean Air Act, but was quickly overruled by legislators pushing for an ‘RPM Bill’ to exempt motorsports.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer