UKMA's assertions are false; the UKMA has been lobbying the
The truth of the
matter is revealed on the Department for Transport's website at this
(Note: in the
event of the above link being removed, a pdf version of the document can be
retrieved by clicking
The document is
a DfT letter responding to an enquiry into British government policy on setting
an end-date for the mile. The DfT's letter is dated 17 June 2005 and is in
reply to a letter dated 20 April 2005. It commences as follows:
As can be seen,
the DfT has removed the name of the person requesting information. However, the
parts that reveal the UKMA's involvement are points 9 to 11:
Requests 9 and
10 shows that the matter being considered is Britain's failure to set an
end-date for the mile on road signs, as required by the EC.
for Transport's response to Request 11 is the one that reveals the role of the
UKMA: the UKMA Director has made a complaint to the European Commission on this
point - the same point over which UKMA has issued the above denials.
when the document is printed off, it includes a footnote:
"050617PAICEUKMA3.DOC". Here is a scan, actual size:
And here is
The first six
digits refer to the date of the letter, and "Paice" would appear to be the
UKMA's Chairman Robin Paice. This suggests that the DfT's letter was addressed
to him. The UKMA3 would imply that this is the third letter that the DfT has
written to UKMA, an interpretation confirmed by their opening
In a nutshell,
it can be deduced that UKMA's Chairman wrote to the DfT on 20 April 2005 to
request information surrounding the UK government's failure to set a date for
the abolition of the mile. The DfT's reason for being unable to provide all the
information requested lay in the fact that UKMA was already initiating
proceedings against the British government in Brussels.
assertions made by UKMA in its 31 August press statement, and by Mr Paice in
his letter to the Financial Times, would appear to be false.
BWMA has, of
course, been aware of this document from the outset. BWMA knew that UKMA was
the "unnamed party" referred to in newspaper reports. But we did not use the
DfT's inadvertent disclosure to "expose" UKMA's role. In a democratic society,
individuals and associations are entitled to lobby and make complaints in
confidence. While some of us may consider secret lobbying by a public body to
be unethical, we have to accept that UKMA has the right to do so.
What is not
acceptable is to tell falsehoods and to mislead. If UKMA wants to keep quiet
about its role in Brussels, then it should do precisely that - keep quiet. To
write letters to the national press saying they have had "no contact for 12
months" and have "not lobbied the EC" is not something that can go
unchallenged, hence the production of the above press releases, letters and
documents on this webpage.