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By Jonathan Isaby
As anticipated by me last night and Alex Deane this morning, the European Court of Justice has indeed now ruled that insurance companies charging different premiums for men and women are in contravention of Article 8 of the EU Treaty – meaning that younger women will no longer be able to get cheaper car insurance on the basis that they are far less likely to be involved in an accident.
Conservaitve MEPs have just issued the following reactions:
Martin Callanan, the leader of the Tory MEPs said:
"The last Labour government is to blame for this. The EU's top adviser based her advice on the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Lisbon Treaty which Labour signed us up to. They have opened the floodgates to nonsense court rulings like this one and yet again we are paying dearly for the utter mess they bequeathed to us.
"Had Labour given us the referendum on the Treaty that they promised, women might not be facing devastating hikes in already sky-high motoring bills."
Meanwhile, Sajjad Karim, the Conservative legal affairs spokesman in Brussels, added:
"This ruling is utter madness. It is a setback for common sense. It is a statistical reality that young men have more accidents than women so it should be reflected in their premiums.
"Once again we have seen how an activist European Court can over-interpret the Treaty. The EU's rules on sex discrimination specifically permit discrimination in insurance if there is data to back it up. Unelected judges have overruled the will of democratically elected MEPs and governments; is it any wonder people are do disenchanted with the EU?
"Boy racers will now have even more money to buy unsafe fast cars, whilst safer drivers will be hit hard in their insurance premiums. This is a victory for boy-racers and a major blow for both democracy and careful women drivers."