BREXIT VOTE WON’T SAVE THE MoT TEST

Plans to in­tro­duce EU Road­wor­thi­ness checks set to re­main

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page - Sam Skel­ton

Bri­tain’s forth­com­ing de­par­ture from the Euro­pean Union will have lit­tle im­pact on the fu­ture of our MoT test – so ex­emp­tion for 30-yearold clas­sics could still be in­tro­duced.

Sir Greg Knight, the chair­man of the All-Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cle Group is cer­tain the EU Road­wor­thi­ness Di­rec­tive, which would have brought in the end of the cur­rent MoT test in 2017-2018, is set to stay in place. He says: ‘We’re on the verge of con­sult­ing on changes to the EU Road­wor­thi­ness Di­rec­tive, and the like­li­hood is that it will still go ahead.’

Ex­perts are pre­dict­ing that Bri­tain’s de­par­ture from the Euro­pean Union could im­pact on the fu­ture of the MoT and the clas­sic car tour move­ment. But plans for emis­sions zones and our in­ter­ac­tion with Fédéra­tion In­ter­na­tionale des

Véhicules An­ciens (the global um­brella or­gan­i­sa­tion of his­toric ve­hi­cle clubs) are likely to re­main un­changed.

The UK clas­sic car in­dus­try is thought to be worth more than £6 bil­lion a year – and the EU is well aware of that. Clas­sic in­dus­try lead­ers, and the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs pre­dict that out­stand­ing EU Di­rec­tives may be used as bar­gain­ing chips be­tween the UK Gov­ern­ment and the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to ne­go­ti­ate our exit pol­icy.

The EU Road­wor­thi­ness Di­rec­tive is set to stay in place de­spite leav­ing the Union, ac­cord­ing to Sir Greg Knight, the chair­man of the All-Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cle Group. He says: ‘We’re on the verge of con­sult­ing on changes to the EU Road­wor­thi­ness Di­rec­tive, and the like­li­hood is that it will still go ahead.’

How­ever, the FBHVC un­der­stands that the Di­rec­tive has been frozen. Ge­off Lan­caster says: ‘We spoke to the Depart­ment for Trans­port last week, and learned that it’s await­ing ad­vice from the ap­pro­pri­ate min­is­ter as to whether to is­sue the con­sul­ta­tion in the UK. The Di­rec­tive has ef­fec­tively stalled and we don’t know whether it will re-start.’

One as­pect that won’t be chang­ing any­time soon is our in­volve­ment with FIVA. Vice -pres­i­dent for ex­ter­nal re­la­tions Gau­tam Sen tells CCW: ‘We are not a Euro­pean body, we are world­wide – we have over 65 mem­ber coun­tries and we aren’t con­cerned with po­lit­i­cal unions. As far as FIVA is con­cerned, it will be busi­ness as usual; we will con­tinue to li­aise with the FBHVC and will keep pro­mot­ing the clas­sic car move­ment in the UK, the EU, and other na­tions.’

Clas­sic car tours will be af­fected, es­pe­cially be­cause of cur­rency fluc­tu­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to one op­er­a­tor. Bill Telford of Clas­sic Car Tours Ecosse says: ‘Be­cause the Euro is now worth over 10% more than it was last week our out­go­ings have in­creased. Un­less the ex­change rate lev­els out we are cer­tainly go­ing to have to raise prices to cover our costs.’

Ian Glass of Coun­try Lane Tours adds: ‘Costs are go­ing to rise. It’s in­evitable be­cause of the ex­change rate.’

CCW was con­cerned that emis­sions zones may be af­fected – in the wake of Paris and other cities in­tro­duc­ing tough new anti-pol­lu­tion reg­u­la­tions. But, the Depart­ment for Trans­port con­firms these are nei­ther a gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tion nor Euro­pean Di­rec­tive, and fall within the purview of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties. Brexit will not af­fect ex­ist­ing or fu­ture plans.

The use of ethanol in fuel has reared its head again. The EU spear­headed the move to­ward E10 petrol, a fuel con­tain­ing more ethanol that can be harm­ful to older en­gines, as part of its drive to­ward 10% re­new­able fuel by 2020. Ac­cord­ing to the FBHVC fuel whole­salers are re­luc­tant to shift to E10 as the pro­duc­tion of ethanol is tied to the price of ce­re­als. E10 will be mar­ket driven, and Gov­ern­ment sources sug­gest that it’s not a pri­mary con­cern.

Driv­ing in Europe is also un­likely to pose a long-term prob­lem for Bri­tish en­thu­si­asts. Ge­off Lan­caster says: ‘His­tor­i­cally all that was needed was proof of tax and an in­sur­ance green card. I don’t think this is likely to change, and I feel that free ac­cess across Europe is one of the things the UK Gov­ern­ment will dis­cuss dur­ing our leav­ing talks.’

Sir Greg Knight agrees: ‘I would ex­pect to see this is­sue dis­cussed as part of ne­go­ti­a­tions with Europe – we can’t turn the clock back 40 years but we’ll be work­ing to­ward as lit­tle red tape as pos­si­ble.’

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