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UK symbols go on driving licences

The symbol used on UK driving licences could be the Union flag or the Royal crest or both

The symbol used on UK driving licences could be the Union flag or the Royal crest or both

First published in News © by

British driving licences are to bear symbols of the United Kingdom, after 17 years when they have had only the European Union flag.

Prime Minister David Cameron said that having the blue-and-gold flag on the credit-card style licence was the kind of interference from Brussels which "infuriated" Britons.

He has acted to ensure that when new-style licences with microchips are launched in 2015, they will bear a British symbol alongside the EU flag.

The symbol could be the Union flag or the Royal crest or both, but the exact design has yet to be decided.

Aides said that when the first EU-wide licences were negotiated in 1996, the then Conservative government was planning to include a UK symbol, but that Labour did not insist on this when the documents came into operation in 1998.

The new cards will carry information about the holder on a microchip, so they can be updated to include changes of address without a new licence having to be issued.

With licences having to be renewed every 10 years, all UK motorists will have the new-style cards by 2025.

Mr Cameron said: "I think people do find the endless - as Douglas Hurd put it - European interference in the nooks and crannies of daily life infuriating. They know that our flag is the Union Jack and not the EU flag."

Transport minister Mike Penning said: "When plastic licences first came in, Labour decided not to include a national flag.

"Now they are due to be redesigned we are committed to including our national symbols because this is a Government flying the flag for Britain in every way we can."

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