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Why the BMF are leaving FEMA

The BMF Management Team and the BMF Council have jointly voted to leave Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA). This is how we got to make that decision.

The Past

For 40 years the BMF took the view that the main place for UK lobbying to be effective was in the EU. This was because most legislation that affected UK riders was formulated there. Both UK rider groups took that view, which is why we created FEMA, whose common language is English and whose Constitution is derived from the BMF’s, written by two BMF representatives to FEMA.

The BMF continued to take this view, with statements to the FEMA Board to that effect, until Brexit. The BMF deliberately avoided any internal discussion of Brexit, as it was a very divisive issue. However Brexit is now in the past, the effects are becoming clear for all to see. We had a ‘hard’ Brexit, with a clearer division from the EU than other European countries that are not EU members, viz Norway and Switzerland.

The Future

It has become increasingly clear that UK riders will have to fight legislation that affects them here, in the UK. We can no longer depend on FEMA to do that for us, as an EU based organisation it is of declining relevance and utility to UK riders. Looking to the future this will increasingly be the case.

The resources that FEMA demands are already burdensome, £12,000 per annum. We need to use that money to support our lobbying work here, in the UK. This is because, in future, we will have to pay more to be effective here, where our members expect our maximum effort. £12,000 is a third of our lobbying funding, out of our turnover of £200,000.

FEMA has always been phenomenally expensive and looks likely to be more expensive in the future.

Therefore, after much discussion and heart-searching, the BMF Management Team, supported by the BMF Council, have voted to leave FEMA. The BMF remain members until 2024, with officers holding roles in FEMA committed to fulfilling their obligations until the 2024 FEMA AGM.

For the BMF

Jim Freeman, Chairman.

Top image courtesy of Wim Taal