Dr Nicholas Bevan

Dr Nicholas Bevan

Monday, 9 June 2014


The Secretary of State to appeal the Delaney decision

 Hammond holding back the tide

It is official and it comes first hand from the Department for Transport: it is in denial!

In Delaney v Secretary of State for Transport [2014] EWHC 1785 (QB) the court exposed the DfT for flouting superior European Community law in its implementation the European Motor Insurance Directives. See earlier post: DfT exposed for defying EU Law.

The Uninsured Drivers Agreement 1999 is notorious for its oppressive and unjust strike out clauses and its unlawful restrictions on the Motor Insurers Bureau’s liability to compensate motor accident victims.  Although the grounds of appeal are not known, it could hardly have chosen weaker ground to contest the superior authority of the Motor Insurance Directives and the long line of Court of Justice rulings interpreting them.

The Delaney case comes at a very embarrassing time for the DfT as its entire transposition of the Motor Insurance Directives is under scrutiny from the European Commission.  The DfT has consistently maintained the line that it has fully implemented the Directives; whereas our national law provision in this area is riddled with unlawful restrictions and exclusions that serve the commercial interests of motor insurers.

The man at the Ministry responsible for this farce is Stephen Hammond MP, the Under Secretary of State for Transport.  Someone needs to explain the rule of law to him and the fact that Parliament has surrendered part of its sovereignty to the European Union on our accession.  

In the words of the great Lord Denning:

‘The Treaty [of Rome, 1957] does not touch any of the matters which concern solely England and the people in it. These are still governed by English law. They are not affected by the Treaty. But when we come to matters with a European element, the Treaty is like an incoming tide. It flows into the estuaries and up the rivers. It cannot be held back, Parliament has decreed that the Treaty is henceforward to be part of our law. It is equal in force to any statute.’

H.P. Bulmer Ltd v J. Bollinger SA [1974] Ch 401 at 418

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