All of the Latest EU News from Anthea McIntyre MEP (Week Beginning 11th February 2019).

This article has been kindly given to the SSCA by Karen Grinsell, Regional Assistant to Anthea McIntyre MEP (karen@antheamcintyre.com).

1. CONSERVATIVES BACK EU ACTION ON LIVE ANIMAL TRANSPORT

Agriculture spokesman Anthea McIntyre today led Conservative MEPs in backing stronger measures to enforce legislation protecting live animals being transported across the European Union.

The report, approved by the European Parliament in Strasbourg, calls for implementation of existing rules to be stepped up with more on the spot inspections and the confiscation of transportation lorries for repeat offenders.

It also recommends a reduction in journey times where possible and advocates alternatives to live animal transport, such as expanding the trade in frozen meat and carcasses.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, stressed that the UK already strictly enforced welfare standards and inspected millions of animals before travel. But some other member states carried out no inspections at all.

She said: "UK farmers employ the highest standards and are invested in the welfare of their animals, including during transport. Sadly these standards are not always replicated across the EU and this report suggests some sensible safeguards, including the greater use of technology to track animal journeys and engagement with third countries about their welfare standards."

"Animal welfare is a top priority. Where unacceptable practices exist, they must be detected and stamped out."

2. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BACKS TORY MEPs CALL TO EXCLUDE UK MOTORSPORT FROM COSTLY EU INSURANCE RULES

British motorsport looks set to be excluded from a planned overhaul of EU motor insurance rules after a European Parliament vote on Wednesday.

MEPs, meeting in Strasbourg, supported an amendment tabled by Conservative MEP for the West Midlands Dan Dalton to insist that motorsport teams and drivers would not be required to buy costly third party liability insurance.

Many teams, suppliers and other companies in the UK contacted Dan to warn that European Commission proposal would drive up costs.

However, motorsport events are already covered by comprehensive public liability insurance in the UK.

The Commission’s draft law came after a 2014 ruling by judges in Luxembourg that off-road vehicles should have unlimited third party liability insurance, including on private land.

Conservative MEPs said the legislation was so vague that it could have effectively shut down British motorsport as amateur clubs would struggle to cope with the extra costs, while many underwriters said they would refuse to offer this kind of insurance for larger events.

But Dan’s amendment included the phrase “in traffic” to mitigate the impact of the Commission’s proposal, which won the support of the European Parliament today,

"This was a badly drafted proposal that should have been clearly thought through before it ever saw the light of day. Today’s vote is a victory for common sense regulation.”

"This would be catastrophic for grassroots enthusiasts. How could clubs produce the next motorsport stars of the future?"

"The next step is for negotiators from the European Parliament, EU governments and the European Commission to thrash out a compromise text that would eventually become the final law."

"I think MEPs have sent a clear message today. Everyone involved should make sure that motorsport is left unaffected by this new legislation. This is more than just a job for some people, it is a way of life," said Dalton, whose father used to volunteer as a marshal at motorsport events up and down the UK."

If the law takes effect before Brexit, or during the planned two-year transition phase, then it will apply in the UK.

The motorsport industry is worth more than nine billion pounds to the British economy. Motorsport Valley, which stretches from the West Midlands to East Anglia, employs more than 40,000 people.