Motorcycle Industry backs remaining in EU

Brexit will bring uncertainty for consumers, says MCIA
Motorcycle Industry backs remaining in EU

THE Motorcycle Industry Association is backing remaining in the EU and says Brexit could affect new bike prices.

The group took a position on the referendum after surveying its members, including UK arms of all the big bike manufacturers, and finding overwhelming support for remaining.

MCIA CEO Steve Kenward said Brexit brought risks for motorcycling and little foreseeable gain.

He said legislation would be unlikely to change favourably for biking as a result of leaving because government would be occupied with higher priorities, while trading uncertainties could impact on motorcycle prices.

Kenward said: “We surveyed our members and the membership view was very much stay in but renegotiate on the things that affect our industry.

“You won’t change the legislation related to motorcycles within a foreseeable period if you come out because there will be far more things to occupy the mind of the civil service.

“In terms of being within Europe, we know the legislation we have, we know what is likely to come at us and we have the channels and opportunity to argue and negotiate for the position to be as favourable as possible for the motorcycle industry. Everything starts again potentially if we come out.

“In terms of a secure trading position - secure being understanding what we know and managing what we know whether we like it or not - we’re much better in than we are out because out is completely unknown.”

Kenward said “issues relating to currency or interest rates could make [purchasing a motorcycle] a more or less expensive thing,” adding: “Unfortunately, with the argument to leave, there is no certainty.”

He said MCIA members wanted to renegotiate within Europe to ensure legislation affecting motorcycling was “challenged more strongly than has been the case in the past”.

He said: “I think the one thing that we all smart from is the driving license issues and various directives over the years, some of which is in the hands of Europe and some of which is in the hands of our own interpretation as a member state.

“So much is challenging in or out but at least the challenges in are known and we can manage. The challenges out are unknown. Speaking today, we don’t know what we’ll have to manage if we come out.”

Kenward said members were surveyed to ensure the MCIA would have a clear position if consulted by government.

A spokeswoman for the group said: 'MCIA surveyed its members late in 2015 and overwhelmingly those who responded wanted to stay within the EU on the proviso that any renegotiation of terms thereafter provided the means to challenge what appears to be the worst excesses of proposed regulation. Notwithstanding MCIA will be ready to advise its members whatever the referendum outcome albeit that change from either outcome will be sometime in the future.’

A spokeswoman for the British Motorcyclists Federation said the riders' rights group was neutral on the referendum. She said: "In most ways we do not think it will make a lot of difference to UK motorcycling whether the UK stays or goes."