Club de­fends right to de­bate Europe

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News -

A clas­sic club has hit back at the FBHVC for crit­i­cis­ing it for can­vass­ing mem­bers for their views on a po­ten­tial Brexit.

The Cam­bridge Ox­ford Own­ers Club (COOC) asked its mem­bers’ opin­ions, and will pub­lish the re­sults in the next is­sue of its magazine, Rosette Recorder, due to be pub­lished shortly be­fore the EU ref­er­en­dum on 23 June.

The Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs (FBHVC) spokesman Ge­off Lan­caster says: ‘It is up to in­di­vid­ual clubs but we wouldn’t ad­vise them to do this. We have de­bated the is­sue of the EU ref­er­en­dum and de­cided to take a neu­tral stance. We don’t know of any other clubs do­ing any­thing sim­i­lar to COOC.’

Rosette Recorder ed­i­tor Taff Gilling­ham ex­plains the rea­son for the de­ci­sion in an editorial in the cur­rent is­sue. He says: ‘The club rarely gets in­volved in pol­i­tics but the forth­com­ing ref­er­en­dum on Europe is the most sig­nif­i­cant po­lit­i­cal event that will hap­pen in the life­time of many of us.’

He adds that be­cause there had been a great deal of leg­is­la­tion di­rectly af­fect­ing clas­sic car own­ers, the club was propos­ing to look into the im­pli­ca­tions for Bri­tish car own­ers of stay­ing in Europe or leav­ing, in the next is­sue of the Rosette Recorder.

‘We will be ask­ing opin­ions of the FBVHC, clas­sic car jour­nal­ists, politi­cians and of course you the mem­bers,’ he says. COOC mem­bers in Europe are also in­vited to join in the de­bate with in­for­ma­tion on the leg­is­la­tion af­fect­ing them.

Taff em­pha­sises that this will only be a de­bate about the ref­er­en­dum from a clas­sic car owner’s point of view. He tells CCW: ‘We will not be in­clud­ing com­ments on eco­nom­ics or im­mi­gra­tion. It is ab­so­lutely not about pol­i­tics. Other clubs might like to con­sider sim­i­lar de­bates.’

He also points out that mat­ters such as the EU Road­wor­thi­ness Di­rec­tive have sparked ma­jor con­tro­versy in re­cent years.

The Cam­bridge Ox­ford Own­ers Club (COOC) will be can­vass­ing mem­bers for their views on a po­ten­tial Brexit in its June magazine.

Ray Newell, sec­re­tary of the Mor­ris Mi­nor Own­ers Club says: ‘We wouldn’t pub­lish some­thing on the EU ref­er­en­dum like this and feel it is up to our in­di­vid­ual mem­bers to make a de­ci­sion.’

Ed­i­tor of the MG Own­ers Club Magazine En­joy­ing MG, Richard Ladds com­ments: ‘We haven’t had any read­ers ask­ing for us to pub­lish any­thing on the EU Ref­er­en­dum and nei­ther had we been in­tend­ing to.’ Nick Larkin

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