Conservative party backs MBM campaign

The Conservative party, which has more UK MEPs than any other, releases a statement in support of MBM's red diesel campaign


The Conservatives, Britain’s most powerful party in Europe with 27 MEPs, has released a statement backing MBM’s call for an extension to the red diesel derogation.

After giving a well-informed summary of the issue, the statement continues:

“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.

“Many boat owners are pensioners and the increase in the cost of red diesel could force many of them to sell their boats. A number of charities, such as The Bruce Trust, a Hungerford-based registered charity, provide holidays for the disabled. Increasing the cost of red diesel could make many of these holidays financially out of the reach of disabled persons.

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“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.

“We 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 because historically this has been the case. The European Union should not be about a one-fits-all scenario.”

“The decision lies with the European Council, where the UK Government must strongly argue the case for exemption. Should, however, the European Council vote to reject a continuation of the exemption, then Gordon Brown, who recognised the need to keep red diesel low-duty, should take steps nationally to ensure to cost of this fuel is kept down.

“The ending of low-duty on red diesel will devastate motor boating in Britain. Conservative MEPs will do all they can to keep up the fight to retain Britain’s exemption.”

The red diesel campaign now has blanket support from the Conservatives and UKIP, as well as individual Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish National Party MEPs.

There are Conservative MEPs in most UK constituencies, who can be contacted as follows:

South West
Mr Neil Parish
Dr Caroline Jackson
Mr Giles Chichester

South East
Mr Daniel Hannan
Mr Nirj Deva
Mr James Elles
Mr Richard Ashworth

Mr John Bowis OBE
Dr Charles Tannock
Mr Syed Salah Kamall

Mr Geoffrey Van Orden
Mr Robert Sturdy
Mr Christopher Beazley

East Midlands
Mr Roger Helmer
Mr Christopher Heaton-Harris

West Midlands
Mr Philip Bushill-Matthews
Mr Philip Bradbourn OBE
Mr Malcolm Harbour

Mr Jonathan Evans

Yorkshire & The Humber
Mr Timothy Kirkhope
Mr Edward McMillan-Scott

North West
Mr Den Dover
Mr David Sumberg
Rt.Hon. Sir Robert Atkins

North East
Mr Martin Callanan

Mr Struan Stevenson
Mr John Purvis OBE


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