MBM can exclusively reveal a decision on the future of red diesel is likely to be made on 5 December.

MBM has learned that a decision on the future of red diesel could be announced on 5 December.

Government spokesmen have told the British Marine Federation that a public statement on the matter can only be made on two occasions – during the Budget, or the Pre-Budget report.

The Pre-Budget report will be made on 5 December and hopes are high that the Government will take the opportunity to make its position clear.
To leave an announcement until the full Budget is given in March would leave the Government little time to take the matter to the EU, which has the final say on red diesel.

Leisureboaters could be banned from using the low-duty fuel from the end of 2006.

MBM has campaigned to save red diesel after research showed its loss could have a catastrophic effect on the entire marine industry and on many waterside communities.

BMF director Howard Pridding told MBM this morning: “I know the Minister has been considering this because the Customs & Excise people came back to us asking for more information on something.

“I’ve got no feedback on how the Minister will decide.”

As well as ensuring the UK Government is up to speed on the red diesel issue, the BMF has been campaigning in Belgium, Ireland, Finland and Malta, which are also facing the loss of the fuel at the end of this year.

Pridding said: “It is beneficial to us if others are also pressing for an extension to the current derogation.”

For more on how the situation in those countries is progressing, see the January issue of MBM.

For MBM’s campaign in full, see www.mbmclub.com/redalert