Callanan (North East): we will do all we can

Martin Callanan, Conservative MEP for the North East, says the derogation has his 'full support'


Mr Martin Callanan, Conservative MEP for the North East, told MBM:

“Thank you for your recent email asking me to express my support with regard to the red diesel exemption from higher rate duty on red diesel for pleasure craft and “live-a-boarders”. As the President of the European Parliament Marine Industry Group, I would like to communicate my full support. An end to the UK’s derogation will see the cost of red diesel triple for thousands of boat owners across the country.

“The red diesel exemption for Britain functions as a balancing factor because the cost of boating in the UK is considerably higher than in other EU countries, including more expensive mooring fees. If the UK’s derogation is not continued, the potential damage that will be done to the UK’s boating industry will be enormous. Loss of the derogation will have a serious impact on the UK’s boating industry and will adversely affect participation levels in the sector.

“The main objective of the Energy Tax Directive is to eliminate distortions in the internal market with regard to taxation. Ending the exemption for Britain and four other states will create distortions such as wide differences in prices between Member States.

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“I have always believed that there was a justification in allowing the full exemption on low-duty red diesel to continue. Britain has negotiated other exemptions such as VAT on children’s clothes and this has been allowed to continue.

“The ending of low-duty on red diesel will devastate motor boating in Britain. More than four million people participate in leisure boating and related water sports in the UK. Boating makes a significant contribution to tourism in all regions and employs approximately 30,000 people – mainly from SMEs. Conservative MEPs will continue to do all we can to keep up the fight to retain Britain’s exemption.”

Once again, MBM is delighted to find a Conservative MEP who is fully conversant with the issue. We have asked Mr Callanan to provide us with information on what actions he has taken to lobby the Commission, and look forward to his reply.

If Mr Callanan is your MEP, you can contact him at


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