European Parliament agrees to motor insurance reform while Westminster fails to do so

By way of an update to last Monday’s post, we can confirm that MEPs in Strasbourg approved proposed changes to the Motor Insurance Directive (the detail is here) whereas the different and separate legislation in Westminster failed to secure a second reading debate. For all practical purposes, that looks to have virtually no chance of making further progress as things now stand.

Based on what the new Roads Minister Trudy Harrison MP initially said during a short debate last month on the topic generally – “it has not proved possible to provide a slot for a government vehicle to disapply the effects of the Vnuk and Lewis judgments during this parliamentary session” – there looked to be little chance of the government making time for the Bill. Towards the end of the debate, however, she seemed to offer to take stock of the government’s position if, as happened on Friday, the Bill did not pass second reading: “If the Bill fails – I encourage all Members to ensure that does not happen – the Government will continue to explore bringing forward the necessary legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.”

Despite that, I do find it difficult to imagine that government will make time for this legislation – given its record of doing nothing about the problem so far – in the current session, ie up to summer 2022. If that turns out to be so, then the ongoing effects of the cases mentioned above will be, as described by one MP in last month’s debate, that the UK remains in “the absurdity of our being in a position where the EU deals with it [the case law] in its legislation and we are stuck with it in ours.”


Written by Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at BLM (alistair.kinley@blmlaw.com)

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