Caravan MOTs: UKIP MEP makes impassioned speech against EU plans
Strasbourg is one of the three main seats of the European Parliament
Tuesday, 08, Oct 2013 05:04
by Chris Jefferies
One of the most contentious issues of the year has been the prospect of new MOT-style tests to determine the roadworthiness or otherwise of all touring caravans that weigh over 750kgs.
The proposals are currently being debated in the European Parliament and could be made into law before the end of the year.
Opposition to this development has been widespread and forthright, with The National Caravan Council and the Government both voicing their objections.
But now a UKIP MEP has delivered what may be the most memorable defence of caravanning that the European Parliament has ever seen.
Derek Clark, MEP for the East Midlands, spoke up in Strasbourg on behalf of all British caravanners to argue that annual servicing is enough to ensure a tourer's roadworthiness.
He continued by claiming that caravanners know the potentially fatal dangers of towing an unsafe trailer and so would not take the risk.
"Caravanners, in spite of what they might look, are not mad," Mr Clark claimed.
His argument is backed up by years of towing experience, as he is a former member of the Caravan Club who has towed all across Europe.
"I've towed [my caravan] all the way from Calais to the south of France. I've taken it over the Alps, into Italy. I've gone round the Alps in Switzerland and other places, all without an accident of any description, nor did I see one with any other caravan," he continued.
Mr Clark's words seemingly fell on deaf ears, as he later posted on his blog: "They did not listen, of course, to my one-minute effort on Monday evening. Same problem as always.
"Neither the rapporteur, nor any other speaker, has any experience of towing a caravan. We are in the hands of idiots who just want to make a name for themselves."
Perhaps Mr Clark could find an understanding ear by speaking with fellow MEPs Nikki Sinclaire and Jacqueline Foster, who appear to share his views.
To watch Mr Clark's impassioned Strasbourg speech in full, click on the video below: