Replace EU flag on driving licences with Cornish cross or Yorkshire rose, ministers suggest

Christopher Hope
European Union flag on driving licences and number plates could be replaced with a Cornish flag - Getty Images Europe

The European Union flag on driving licences and number plates could be replaced with a Cornish flag or a Yorkshire white rose, ministers have suggested.

Two Conservative Cornish MPs Scott Mann and Derek Thomas will support the plans to replace the EU banner with the distinctive Cornish black flag with a white cross or other regional symbols after Brexit in a Commons debate next week.

Andrew Jones, a transport minister, held out the prospect of regional flags appearing on licences alongside the union flag.

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He told The Telegraph: “The EU flag will have to go – what we are going to replace it with is a matter for debate. The debate in Parliament will be part of that process.

“I expect to receive lots of suggestions and it is no surprise there is a strong lobby from proud Cornishmen, but it is very early in the process.”

The law allows the Union Jack, the Cross of St George, the Scottish Saltire or the Red Dragon of Wales – along with their “accompanying identifiers GB, ENG, SCO and CYM” – to appear on licence plates.

The debate takes place days before St Piran’s Day, the national day of Cornwall, on March 5.

The EU flag is disappearing from the UK driving licence Credit: Alamy

Mr Mann said: “With the EU flag disappearing from the UK driving licence after Brexit, I think people should be given the option of having a regional flag as well as the Union flag which is already there, such as the Cornish, English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish flags, among others.

“Although we are one United Kingdom, we all come from different countries and regions, and I think many people would like to have the option of making this known on their official identification.

“We already see this to a certain extent on car number plates, so why not driving licences?

"I don’t think this should be mandatory, but I do believe there is a desire for it from many people, and I can’t really see it being an administrative burden for the DVLA when licences already have to be produced individually for each person.

“I’ve recently been surveying local residents in North Cornwall and the reaction is quite positive, with a good chunk of people saying they would like to have the option.”

Mr Thomas added: “Us Cornish people are hugely proud and precious about our heritage and the identity of the county.

"Some of that identity has been lost through the way the European Union has developed and we have the opportunity to re-establish something we can call our own. Putting our flag on the licences would be very well received.”

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