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South Thanet MP backs government plans to delay target for phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles

A Kent MP has welcomed reports that the government is preparing to scale back its target for phasing out all petrol and diesel vehicles.

Moving the target from 2030 to 2035 is part of a wider plan that is likely to see the Prime Minister weaken some of the party’s commitments on climate change.

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay
South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay, who is chairman of the Anti Net Zero Parliamentary group, told KentOnline: “This is a pragmatic and realistic move because I think the government has realised that the provision of sufficient electricity to make the conversion of diesel and petrol cars to electric vehicles (EVs) and for heat pumps to replace oil and gas in your home is simply not on track.

“Private buyers of EVs have virtually collapsed; the only real buyers are corporate or fleet buyers because of very generous tax breaks.

“Technology has got to catch up; electricity production has got to catch up. Frankly, there is nowhere else to go. It does match us with the EU and the United States and we were looking rather alone and in my view rather silly.

“This is a simple question of where is the electricity going to come from?

“Also, people are not prepared to pay these prices and we are going to have to put this off for a few years.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

In a statement released after the leak of his plans, the Prime Minister said: "For too many years politicians in governments of all stripes have not been honest about costs and trade-offs. Instead they have taken the easy way out, saying we can have it all.

"This realism doesn't mean losing our ambition or abandoning our commitments. Far from it.

"I am proud that Britain is leading the world on climate change."

He said the UK was committed to international climate agreements it had already made.

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