Looe's Conservative district councillor Brian Galipeau is backing calls for the Government to take action to end a threat to private boat owners who could be sunk unless the UK renews the red diesel tax opt-out. As many as four million pleasure boaters could suffer a huge increase in fuel costs if the EU refuses to renew the UK opt-out on red diesel tax, according to South West Conservative MEP Neil Parish. Britain is currently allowed an exemption from higher rate duty on red diesel fuel for pleasure craft and 'liveaboarders' – the thousands of people who live aboard their homes and need red diesel for heating and hot water. Mr Galipeau said he was watching developments with interest, as failure to renew the opt-out could see red diesel prices soar from 30-40p to more than £1 per litre. Mr Parish said: 'Many South West boat owners are pensioners and the increase in the cost of red diesel could force many of them to sell their boats.'