Daily Mail, p19, 5 August 1999
European-style car number plates are being legalised in Britain – but they must bear the blue 12-star EU flag and not our own national symbols. Brussels-imposed rules mean the plates…cannot have a Union Flag, the cross of St George, a Scottish saltire, or a Welsh dragon instead.
This is misleading. The design of car registration plates remains entirely in the control of national governments. There is absolutely no compulsion to show an EU emblem. A Regulation from 1998, implementing part of a 1968 UN-backed Convention, does establish a model for the design of registration plates which is intended to ensure mutual recognition of Member States’ insignia, but it applies only to those Member States which choose to adopt it. That an EU style design is now permitted for cars registered in the UK was the decision of the British Government and is neither ‘Brussels-imposed’ nor ‘a step towards federalism by stealth’.