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News Report Page 10 of 10
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Government announces plan to scrap EU law, ensuring British drivers avoid ₤50 a year insurance hike

BRITISH drivers will avoid an estimated ₤50 a year increase in motor insurance costs as the Government confirms it plans to do away with the controversial EU 'Vnuk' law, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, from Sunday, 21 February 2021 announcement. The Vnuk law requires a wider range of vehicles than those such as cars and motorbikes to be insured, including ones previously not requiring insurance, such as golf buggies, mobility scooters and quad bikes. The law also extends to vehicles on private land, meaning people with a ride on lawnmower, at home, would require insurance where it would have previously not been needed. Had the EU law been implemented in Great Britain, it would have meant the insurance industry would have been liable for almost ₤2 billion in extra overall costs. These costs would likely have been passed onto their customers; British road users. Now we have left the EU the measures no longer need to be implemented, helping road users across the country steer clear of increased premiums; a clear win for motorists in Britain. Bypassing Vnuk will also protect the existence of the UK's world leading motorsports industry. The EU's rules would have meant any motorsports collision involving vehicles from go karting to F1 would have been treated as regular road traffic incidents requiring insurance. This could have decimated the industry due to the additional insurance costs of roughly ₤458 million every single year. Scrapping the rules will save the industry from potential collapse and secure hundreds of thousands of jobs in the sector in the process.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:- "We have always disagreed with this over the top law that would only do one thing; hit the pockets of hard working people up and down the country with an unnecessary hike in their car insurance. I am delighted to announce that we no longer need to implement it. Scrapping this rule would save the country billions of pounds and is part of a new and prosperous future for the UK outside the EU; a future in which we set our own rules and regulations."

As well as the likely financial burden on British road users, the Vnuk rules are considered unnecessary as there are already insurance packages available to Brits which cover certain risks on private land. The UK officially left the EU, on 31 January 2020, with the formal Transition Period coming to an end on December 31, 2020, after the ratification of the UK - EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement; allowing us to control our own rules and regulations and recover our economic and political independence.

Liverpool Friends of the Earth asks Metro Mayors to adopt climate action plan

LIVERPOOL Friends of the Earth along with a coalition of groups from across the City Region is asking Metro Mayor candidates to commit to using the important resources and influence they have to make sure their regions are as climate and nature friendly as possible.

As the UK Government tries to steer the country through the Coronavirus crisis, there is an opportunity to forge a better, greener and fairer future. We need a plan that centres on climate and that can change everyone's lives for the better and Mayors are well placed to do this.

Don Naylor, of Liverpool Friends of the Earth, said:- "We are at a crossroad and we can take the right direction for people and nature. The old normal was bad for people and bad for the planet so we can now set a new path. We've got an amazing opportunity to make a society that's fairer, an economy that works for everyone, and an environment that's healthy. But only if Metro Mayors do the right thing, and candidates commit now to prioritising action on the climate and nature emergencies. We need to be sure that City Region development and investment decisions made today are going to help us cut planet wrecking carbon emissions. In Liverpool City Region the next Metro Mayor needs to prioritise getting the operation of the Port of Liverpool to zero carbon as soon as possible, with a sustainable solution to the movement of freight instead of defaulting to road building. Mayoral candidates should also advocate for international progress on climate. This would include halting imports of industrial scale biomass coming through the Port."

Eddy Taylor, from Merseyside Cycling Campaign, said:- "Merseyside Cycling Campaign want cycling and other forms of active travel to be safer, easier and more pleasant. This would lead to a real change in how people get around the region, with environmental, health, economic and social benefits for everyone. More cycling would lead to improved air quality, reduced CO2 emissions and increased activity which would tackle travel poverty and allow our streets to be more social spaces. We've seen some recent temporary infrastructure going in but we are now at a point where action needs to be taken at a larger scale. Real commitments are needed to improve active travel infrastructure including looking at all options to prevent a road through Rimrose Valley."

Read more here about Friends of the Earth's Climate Action Plan and help Metro Mayors address the climate and ecological emergencies as well as respond to the Covid19 Pandemic in their Regions.

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