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MSA tackles DEFRA threat to UK motor sport

The MSA has joined forces with the governing body of motor cycle racing (ACU) and other affected parties to challenge the Government`s decision, channelling its efforts through the Land Access & Recreation Association (LARA) of which the MSA is a founding member and major funder.

The Single Payment Scheme (SPS) replaces the Common Agricultural Policy and now pays farmers for the land they own, not what they produce. The European Directive on agricultural subsidies does not prohibit motor sports on land eligible for SPS. However, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has taken the decision, without consultation, to stop these payments to UK landowners if agricultural land is used, even temporarily, for motor sport.

Activities that will be particularly impacted are autograss, autocross, sporting trials, production car trials, 4x4 events and some rallies.

"We believe the current guidance from DEFRA to landowners is incorrect, is inconsistent with EU policy and fundamentally threatens the future of motor sport in this country. The MSA is a founding member and substantial funder of LARA and it is entirely appropriate that the concerted response of all interested parties to this threat is channelled through LARA. We hope to have a successful conclusion to our urgent dialogue with DEFRA, but should the need arise we are prepared to pursue this issue further," said Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the Motor Sports Association.

Important
In order to help us make the best case to have motor sport reclassified we desperately need
information about your club`s events and access to agricultural land. Please print and complete the questionnaire attached for each affected event and return to Ian R Davis no later than Monday 16th May 2005.

YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED NOW!