UKIP accused of smear tactics

“Completely false” letters sent to garages, claims Lib Dem MEP.

Letters being sent by UKIP to garages across the West Midlands about recent EU legislation on MOT tests have been denounced as “completely false” by Lib Dem Euro MP Phil Bennion. He is furious that UKIP is telling MOT garages that an EU law will prevent them from both testing and repairing vehicles – and asking for a donation to stop it – when the legislation now adopted will not affect this practice.

The Tamworth-based Lib Dem MEP is a member of the EU Parliament’s Transport Committee and took specific action to rule out this idea, which came from a single German MEP.

Phil Bennion said: “I believe it is important to set the record straight. These UKIP letters are completely wrong.  The legislation now adopted and confirmed by governments on March 24th can’t now be amended, but I made absolutely sure it does not prevent MOT garages from both testing and repair.

“During the legislative process, I took steps to ensure that the plans were fit for purpose. I consulted widely, visiting a garage in Tamworth to talk to staff about the wording and liaised closely with the Department for Transport and VOSA to make sure the draft EU legislation steered clear of any unnecessary red tape. As for UKIP’s claim that the EU will stop garages testing and repair under the same roof, this is a practice in some other countries. One single German MEP put forward a proposal for separation.

“However, I tabled amendments so that the UK model was protected, which were accepted and the idea was dropped.  MOT garages in the Midlands and across the UK can still provide both testing and repair as before.”Due to the high quality of testing here, the EU legislation we now have is virtually a copy and paste of the UK model. We do need EU-wide rules to make sure that non-UK cars being driven on UK roads are roadworthy and comply with environmental standards. The EU-wide law will help fight air pollution, improve road safety and make the trade of second-hand cars easier.

“The letters UKIP are sending round are completely false. We need to have a debate about the EU and Britain but based on facts, not fibs.”