In­dus­try in­sid­ers reckon our exit from the EU could scup­per the Gov­ern­ment’s plan to axe an­nual tests for His­toric ve­hi­cles

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page - Mur­ray Scullion­mot­mad­ness

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.

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