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'.
More Britons are personalizing their car number plates than ever before, according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). In the past year, the Treasury made a record total of £102 million — £15 million more than 2014-2015 from an estimated 335,000 registration plates purchased by drivers in the U.K.
The DVLA started selling personalised number plates in 1990, with just 77,745 purchased between 1995-96 — four times less than today. At present, the DVLA boasts 47 million plates on offer to drivers across the country, which can be bought online or at auctions.
The DVLA says almost 335,000 registrations were sold in the last year – more than four times the figure in the mid-Nineties.
A spokesman for the AA welcomed the news, saying: “It puts a smile on people’s faces and raises money for the exchequer – what’s there to complain about?
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