British motorsport threatened by EU ruling

‘Vnuk judgement’ may have unintended consequences for motorsport in the UK

British Superbikes

THE BRITISH government has just issued a document for public consultation that suggests temporarily implementing a European Court decision known as the ‘Vnuk judgement’.

The ruling would make it compulsory for anyone engaging in any and all forms of motor sport to have third party insurance. It would be applicable to all vehicles on any kind of land and even implementing it temporarily would mean and end to motorsport in the UK.

Insurance companies will not insure against third party motorsport risks – the number of vehicle claims alone would be unsustainable for them, meaning that if the Vnuk judgement came into force, motorsport activity in the UK would cease.

Is that likely to happen? It's hard to imagine -  motorsport is a significant contributor to the British economy. The motorsport industry in the UK employs over 50,000 people, generates a total of £11 billion of sales each year and is home to world leading companies, teams and talent, and related world-leading high performance engineering industry.

A joint statement by Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), Auto Cycle Union (ACU) and Amateur Motorcycle Association (AMCA) is calling on the government to exempt motor and motorcycle sport from any changes to insurance law that would arise from the ECJ judgment.

Speaking on behalf of all three parties, Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA said:

‘At a stroke, this would wipe out a successful industry and all the jobs that go with it, as well as eliminating a popular leisure pursuit for 1.9 million people, along with the boost that this gives to both local and national economies. 

‘If the government implements the Vnuk judgment un-amended, British motorcycle sport would end in the UK.  Given that we are coming out of the EU, we are astonished that the government is even considering an option to implement Vnuk.  We call on ministers to end uncertainty and put a stop to Vnuk in the UK.’

The Vnuk ruling stems from a case involving a Slovenian farm worker, Damijan Vnuk, who was hurt falling from a ladder, which was hit by a reversing tractor.