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No Luxembourg Compromise
 
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No Luxembourg Compromise - December 2nd 2005


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    The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG UK) calls for the UK Government and MEPs not to accept the Luxembourg Compromise for the 3rd European Licence Directive regarding motorcycle licensing.

    EU Ministers meet on Monday 5th December to consider a common position on the directive which will be discussed under the auspices of the UK Presidency.

    MAG maintains its stated position, which is to call for the complete withdrawal of the motorcycling part of the directive so that it may be discussed more fully with the European motorcycling community. The reason for this is to achieve an acceptable solution based on sound evidence, in order to justify these proposals, rather than creating extra and unnecessary regulation in the name of safety.

    MAG Director Of Public Affairs, Trevor Baird, comments, "Whether this solution takes place in the Council of Ministers, or in the European Parliament is not the issue. What is important is that Europe must take the bold option of withdrawing the motorcycling part of the directive so that the 2nd European Driving Licence Directive has had time to be implemented in 2008 to enable governments to determine its effectiveness and to revisit the Directive at a later stage."

    In correspondence with MAG Lobbyists, the UK Minister of Transport, Dr Stephen Ladyman replied that as far as the negotiating position is concerned, the UK Government has already pressed this matter to its limits. He stated that there is no intention on the part of the Government to reduce the number of people on motorcycles.

    This is in direct contrast with the Minister's written reply in the House of Commons, on 30th November in reference to the directive.

    The Minister stated, "The proposals for motorcycles bore no clear relationship to the road safety problems of which we have evidence in the UK.

    "That in its present form, the draft Directive may impose additional testing or training costs on motorcyclists under the age of 24 who wish to ride larger machines, but such costs cannot be quantified at this stage.

    "For the same reasons, the Government cannot at this stage quantify any potential effects of the Directive on UK motorcycle manufacturers or on casualty numbers."

    Gerard Livett, MAG Regional Representative for Greater London and Public Affairs Team, argues that, "The subtext of this directive is not about road safety, it is about stopping us riding motorcycles for our own perceived good. The determination of this government to reduce motorcycling in this country is supported by our own research. MAG cannot support this government's position."

    It is MAG's view that the UK Government has lost a golden opportunity to lead in Europe through the UK Presidency but instead has sat on the fence and betrayed UK motorcyclists by relying on further amendments to the 'compromise' text to be initiated by other Member States or by the European Parliament.

    MAG urges the UK Government and representatives from member states not to arrive at a common position based on the Luxembourg Compromise and to listen to and enact the European motorcycling communities' judicious amendments to the directive.