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On plenty of car number plates you’ll notice a blue strip on the left hand side, displaying both the flag for the EU and also the letters ‘GB’. The same appeared on driving licences, too.

However, the government has now announced a ‘makeover’ to both as the UK has now left the EU. The change of appearance means that the EU flag will no longer appear on licences nor number plates.

Existing plates and licences will continue to be valid, but the new-style driving licences will be issued on all new or renewed ones.

The announcement has come as the government has confirmed easier travel for UK drivers abroad. New agreements mean that Brits won’t need an international driving permit to drive in the 27 EU member states, while a ‘GB sticker’ won’t need to be displayed in many, as long as the number plate has a GB or Union Jack on it.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Changing the designs of our driving licences and number plates is a historic moment for British motorists, and a reassertion of our independence from the EU one year on from our departure.

“Looking to the future, whether it’s for work or for holidays abroad, these changes mean that those who want to drive in the EU can continue to do so with ease.”

Shapps showed off the new design on Twitter, which saw the Union Flag replacing the EU flag. The new designs have been issued with first batches since January 1.

Ted Welford

By

February 1, 2021