Brian Hayes MEP

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Disgrace that the Commission is dragging its heels on the Vnuk ruling – Hayes

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Disgrace that the Commission is dragging its heels on the Vnuk ruling – Hayes

Ruling could force Mondello Park to shut down if no action taken

Brian Hayes MEP today (Sunday) hit out at the European Commission for failing to take proper action to address the outcome of the ECJ’s Vnuk ruling which could force mandatory insurance on all vehicles on private property in the EU.

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“We have known for quite some time that the ECJ’s Vnuk judgement was coming down the tracks and it would have huge implications for the likes of Mondello Park and the motorsport industry.

“The Vnuk judgement effectively means that all vehicles in the EU, whether it is a tractor or a race car, must have mandatory insurance on private property. Currently, Irish law only requires motor insurance for the use of vehicles on a road or any other public place. This judgement could have a disastrous effect on many private businesses and there is a real risk that places like Mondello Park will be closed down if the new rules are forced on Member States. Insurers have said that unlimited third party ‘competitor to competitor’ insurance is effectively uninsurable and will not be made available.

“The European Commission had initiated a process to address this negative outcome of the Vnuk ruling in June 2016 but has since done nothing. The situation can be corrected through an amendment to the EU Motor Insurance Directive which would clarify in what conditions motor insurance would be required.

“The Commission has still not formally proposed an amendment to the Motor Insurance Directive which is a disgrace. The Vnuk judgement was adopted in 2014, so this should have all been sorted out by now. The lack of action from the Commission is creating a great deal of uncertainty for some Member States and for the motorsport industry.

“What is equally shocking is that our own Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, does not seem to care about this issue. I wrote a letter to Minister Ross on 25th May explaining that this ruling could effectively shut down Mondello Park. The Minister did not respond to my letter and he has made no comment on this issue as far as I understand. Our Minister for Transport should be defending the Irish Motorsports industry and private transport operations. Minister Ross cannot go into hiding and be silent on such an important issue.

“The UK Department for Transport, on the other hand, has taken proper action and has already published a consultation paper on how the UK should respond to the issues arising from the Vnuk judgement. We should be following their course of action.

“The European Commission should urgently propose a formal amendment to the Motor Insurance Directive in order to put the process in motion and limit uncertainty for everyone concerned.”

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