The EU parliament is due to vote next week on imposing an EU wide standard vehicle number plate design and system.
Both the Conservatives and UKIP have come out strongly against the proposal so will be voting against it, but will enough MEPs from across the Union also be voting ‘no’, or will we end up with new number plates and the ‘identification tags’ that go with them. There are also concerns that the EU emblem would be part of any new redesign.
Tory MEP Syed Kamall said that what had been intended as a useful piece of legislation to make it easier to register a car in another EU state had morphed into an EU common design for vehicle number plates with ‘completely unnecessary clauses’.
Saying that the EU should keep its hands of our number plates the UKIP Deputy Leader, Paul Nuttall said: "There is nothing wrong with British registration plates and if there were it is up to our government to make any changes.
“This is all part of the EU obsession with harmonisation, which they are determined to impose on everything.
“It is bound to mean including the dreadful blue and gold ring of stars EU symbol which many people already resent seeing plastered all over our country.”
Phill Jones, Commercial Director of used car website, Motors.co.uk, said: “At such a sensitive stage of relations between the UK and the EU, this change feels like an unnecessary move which has the potential to damage the many positives of this relationship. But the British public are clearly concerned.”
“We recently found that over half (54%) of Briton’s already believe that the adoption of EU standards and levies has caused the price of running a car to rise, with 57% claiming they would be more likely to vote for the party that pledges to block a widespread the adoption of EU standards and levies on motoring policy. Not only indicative of the fact that Britain’s motorists have become concerned with many of the proposed laws recommended by the EU, it’s also important to remember that the Great British number plate is a part of our driving culture. Instead of attempting to change the most cherished traditions on Britain’s roads, our Government needs to work more closely with Europe to decide which policies really are required to help improve the motoring conditions in Britain. Once this occurs, the British public will be given more faith in this currently fragile relationship.”
RAC Spokesman, Simon Williams, quoted in euroweeklynews.com said: “The British number plate is simple, highly effective and, while it has changed several times over the years, has been part of our driving heritage for 110 years.
“While there are clearly benefits to be had from having the same style of number plate throughout Europe with identification tags to stop fraud, it would be a real shame to lose ours.
“It ought to be possible to come up with a set of common guidelines that allow countries to adapt their number plates slightly without going for full standardisation.
“If that really has to be the way, perhaps the UK's number plates should form the basis of a new harmonised standard, especially as several other countries already use a very clear format closely resembling ours.”