By Richard North
There are many highly principled reasons why we should leave the EU, but down amongst the weeds, there are equally important practical reasons why we should get out as fast as possible. One such is the absurdity bordering on the insane of the ECJ ruling on car insurance for women with favourable terms prohibited by the EU’s Gender Directive, even though women present less costly risks to insurers.
Now we see that, according to a Treasury paper, women drivers in the UK, as a direct result of this ruling, will pay over £900 million more a year for motor insurance than they currently do. But what is so very chilling is that the British government “made very clear” its concerns “about any move to prevent the use of gender as a risk factor in the pricing of individual insurance policies”. It told the court that the ability of insurers to price on the basis of risk was integral to their need to conduct business efficiently.
However, “Due to the nature of the ruling … there is no right of appeal against the outcome. The only option available is to implement the ruling, in this case by secondary legislation, which is likely to be made in the spring of 2012” it says.
And that, writ large, underlines the impotence of our government, even when faced with such manifest absurdity. What is more, the Treasury further observes that the ECJ ruling adversely affects both consumers and insurers. Although many male drivers in the motor insurance market stood to benefit from the changes, the “net cost” to motorists would be approximately £300m.
So there we are – this is the EU of which The Boy says we want to be members. But when it comes to the interests of millions of ordinary people, that is simply not true. Here, at least, is £300 million spent that we did not have to spend, to add to the many billions more wasted as a direct result of our membership.
We simply cannot afford this stupidity – the sooner we leave the better.