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Uber’s UK operation ‘not affected’ by European ruling on transport regulation

Uber had argued it was a technology service enabling people to contact each other, rather than a cab firm.

A ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that Uber should be regulated as a transport company will not affect its UK operation, the firm has said.

Uber had argued it was a technology service enabling people to contact each other, rather than a cab firm.

But the ECJ, based in Luxembourg, found that it “must be regarded as forming an integral part of an overall service whose main component is a transport service”.

The case stemmed from a complaint by Barcelona taxi drivers who claimed Uber drivers should be licensed.

While the ruling could change the way Uber operates in some European cities, the company insisted there will be no impact in most countries, including the UK.

Uber and its drivers already have to obtain operating licences from local authorities in the UK.

An Uber spokesman said: “This ruling will not change things in most EU countries where we already operate under transportation law.”

The verdict comes after Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew Uber’s operating licence in the capital in September on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled on Tuesday that the GMB union and the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association could participate in Uber’s forthcoming legal battle to appeal against the decision.

Speaking after the ECJ ruling, GMB general secretary Tim Roache said: “GMB welcomes this decision which confirms that Uber is, as we have always said, a transport company.

“We now want to see sensible regulation being applied to Uber and all drivers to ensure worker and public safety, and a level playing field for all our driver members.

“No doubt TfL will be reviewing this decision closely when they consider GMB member driver evidence in Uber’s current licence appeal.”

Uber can continue operating in London during the appeal process.

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