Government announces they will take the red diesel fight to Europe

The Royal Yachting Association have welcomed the Government’s announcement that they will take the red diesel fight to Europe.

UK leisure boaters face the possible loss of red diesel at the end of this year, if Brussels cannot be persuaded to grant extended permission.

One consequence of such a move could see waterside diesel almost triple in price.

Gordon Brown’s Budget announcement today made clear that The Partial Regulatory Impact Assessment, which was prepared by HM Revenue and Customs with input from the RYA, BMF and FPS, has been sent to the European Commission.

His statement followed the announcement at the Pre-Budget Report last year that the Government would investigate the situation, but was “minded” to fight for the retention of the derogation allowing UK leisure boaters the use of red diesel.

An RYA statement said: “This is the first stage in the European negotiations, but we hope that the commission will view the request favourably at this early stage. If the commission does not accept the proposals put forward in the Initial RIA, the RYA and BMF will continue to work with officials to present further evidence, as required.”

If the Commission accepts the proposal to extend the derogation, it still has to go before the European Council of Ministers later this year for a vote by all Member States.

The RYA said: “The outcome of this vote cannot be predicted in advance, so it is important that we continue to raise the profile of this important issue, both within the UK and among other EU Member States.”

For a full report see Motor Boat & Yachting’s May issue, on sale 6 April.