BREXIT SET TO SAVE MoTs FOR CLASSICS
Industry insiders reckon our exit from the EU could scupper the Government’s plan to axe annual tests for Historic vehicles
Plans to scrap the MoT for cars over the age of 40 reaches a tipping point today (2 November) - but they could be put on ice when the United Kingdom leaves the EU. Despite the UK confirming an exit from the European Union, the Government is insisting it will comply with all EU-led legislation - including plans to replace the MoT with a new system that would exclude classics from annual safety tests. However, there are suggestions that if there is sufficient opposition the proposals could be mothballed following the UK’s exit from the EU. The consultation closes today (2 November).
The FBHVC’s communications director, Geoff Lancaster, says: ‘ We wouldn’t rule this out.’
The Government’s plans to scrap annual safety tests for tens of thousands of classics reaches a tipping point today (2 November) – but Britain’s exit from the EU could still put the plans on ice.
Industry insiders reckon that even if the EU Roadworthiness Directive is given the go-ahead, the scheme may be mothballed as Britain moves away from Europe over the next few years.
The Department for Transport’s consultation will close at 11.45pm tonight. It's set out to gauge the public’s opinion on roadworthiness testing for vehicles of historic interest – with the aim that vehicles of made more than 40 years ago will not need an annual inspection.
Matthew Thomas, a senior parliamentary researcher for the House of Commons says: ‘If the MoT consultation drags on – it might be shelved post Brexit, as we won’t have to adhere to European Union rules.’
The FBHVC’s communications director, Geoff Lancaster, reveals the organisation's thought:. ‘ We wouldn’t rule this out. Trying to get a straight answer out of anyone in Government on this is tough.’
‘Judging by the amount of interest it’s generated on social media the DfT will have its hands full,’ he adds.
The reason cited for the consultation is cited at ‘Due to EU Directive changes’. Despite Britain confirming an exit from the European Union, member states must adhere to the rules. A Government spokesperson explains: ‘Despite the UK’s choice to leave the EU on 23 June, until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains part of the EU with all the rights and obligations. During this period the Government will continue to implement and apply EU legislation.’
Although leaving is still in the negotiation period, Prime Minister Theresa May has made it clear that the United Kingdom will invoke Article 50 - the mechanism for leaving the EUnext March 2017. This means the UK will be expected to have left before 2019.
The DfT says that it will take at least three months just to gather the responses and outline what steps will be taken from them.
It also could not deny that this consultation might be irrelevant no matter the result. Sameena Rizwi, DfT spokesperson says: ‘The DfT refuses to comment on the consultation before it’s over.’
The DfT claims that registered vehicles between 40 and 56 years old were involved in 263 accidents that led to an injury in 2014 – and that these figures are enough to suggest that classics don’t need annual safety checks.