Devon Flag Could Replace EU Flag On Number Plates
The Devon flag could be used to replace EU stars on number plates after Brexit if two Westcountry MPs get their way in a debate being held in the House of Commons today.
Some British motorists are already using stickers and black tape to cover up the European Union blue and gold stars flag.
The DVLA has said it is 'too early to say' what will happen now that the UK has voted to leave the EU, heightening confusion about what will happen when the new registration numbers come out in September.
Now two Conservative Cornish MPs, Scott Mann and Derek Thomas, are supporting plans to replace the EU banner with local flags, including the distinctive Cornish St Piran's black flag or the green flag of Devon.
Under current laws, it's illegal to do so on licences or plates.
The Department for Transport said: "Until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the EU and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force."
The DVLA said that it's "a customer's choice as to whether or not to have a flag on their number plate".
Meanwhile, motorists across the country have decided to by-pass the confusion and manually remove the EU flags or replace them with Union flag stickers.
Covering up the EU part of the number plate isn't in itself an offence, but in general tampering with a number plate is very ill-advised.Alex Garner, road traffic law specialist at Stephensons law firm
Another said: 'Just ordered my Union flag stickers to replace EU flag on number plate (only noticed it today o'wise would have done it ages ago) #Brexit.'
But traffic law specialists have voiced concern that these motorists could be risking potential prosecution and a massive fine.
'The regulations with a number plate are very descriptive, so they have clear permitted fonts, sizes, that sort of thing,' Alex Garner, road traffic law specialist at Stephensons law firm said.
'Any attempt to cover up part of the registration number itself would absolutely be an offence.
'With covering up the flags, you have to be careful not to interfere with the visibility of the registration number. So using a reflective material like duct tape could interfere with a speed camera flash for example, or using a black masking tape in a thin strip could look like a '1' or an 'L'.
“Once you’ve bagged that number plate – if it’s a good one it adds value to it. Some are iconic and will be sought after. Some of the best are simple but exquisite.”
The biggest went for £180,000 in May last year – for KR15 HNA – which was a new British record for the most expensive current style personalised registration plate.
Today, plates with just one number and two letters cost an estimated £60,000, 20 times more than the early 1990s, when drivers could expect to pay somewhere between £3,000 to £5,000.
A DVLA spokesman said: “Many people enjoy displaying a personalised registration number and the general sale and auctions remain extremely popular with the public.
“Since we began selling personalised registrations we have raised around £2.3 billion and all the money raised is passed to the Treasury.”
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