The Royal Yachting Association and British Marine Federation have warned there is still much to be done before the future of red diesel is secured.

The Royal Yachting Association and British Marine Federation have warned there is still much to be done before the future of red diesel is secured.

The two organisations, which have campaigned hard behind the scenes with ministers, MPs and Customs officials, added their voices to those of owners across the country welcoming the Government’s announcement yesterday afternoon.

Chancellor Gordon Brown revealed in the Pre-Budget Report at 3.30pm that the Government was “minded” to lobby Brussels for an extension of the UK’s current permission to use red diesel.

The low-duty fuel could be banned for leisureboaters from the end of next year.

MBM’s own campaign on the issue has highlighted the likely financial consequences for the marine industry and for all waterside communities if red diesel is lost.

Editor Simon Collis and news editor Rob Peake (pictured) were among the first to hail yesterday’s decision.

A joint statement by the RYA and BMF said: “We welcome the Government’s statement and are very pleased that, in principle, the Government is in favour of renewing the derogation for private pleasure craft.

“We recognise that persuading the EU Commission is going to be a significant obstacle, and that more work is required if we are going to succeed in Europe. We will continue to work with the UK Government to ensure the argument is as robust as possible.”

For MBM’s Red Alert campaign on the issue, see www.mbmclub.com/redalert