July 15, 2024

This is why Britons still drive with EU signs

This is why Britons still drive with EU signs

It has now been about three years since Britain left the European Union. And yet: Britons still get around with EU license plates. Surprised Swiss tourist.

Even three years after Brexit, many Britons still have EU license plates (left). Reader reporter

Basics in a nutshell

  • In February 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union.
  • Now a Swiss woman is discovering that many cars still have EU plates.
  • According to one expert, this is due to the effort and cost of changing signs.

Swiss Nina K. *She expressed her surprise while on vacation in London and Brighton: “I noticed that almost every third car still had the EU logo on its license plate.”

It’s been more than three years since Brexit: The United Kingdom has not been part of the European Union since February 1, 2020. The election result was very close, with only 51.9% voting to leave.

Which is why the Swiss suspected: “I was wondering if this might be some kind of silent protest against Brexit.”

opinion poll

Have you ever been to London on holiday?

SRF’s UK correspondent Michael Gerber sees another reason, he says in response to a question from Nau.ch.

“Changing a number plate can easily cost £60 or more and the effort involved is significant. This is probably the main reason why cars with the EU stars and stripes are still seen on British roads to this day.

Many Britons probably have other concerns than worrying about the star wreath on their car number.

The government could suddenly ban EU labels

“As far as I know, no ban is planned,” Gerber says. “But of course what applies to Brexit also applies to the number plates of the stars remaining in the EU. Surprises are always possible.”

The British expert believes that the government may suddenly find it useful once again to “mobilize the anti-Brussels”. Then such a ban can still become relevant.

However: “Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – unlike his predecessor Boris Johnson – has been trying to cool and shape relations with the EU constructively.”

Many Britons regret Brexit

We can only speculate whether some Britons will continue to drive with the EU banner in protest. One thing is clear: “Brexit has been, and will continue to be, a hot topic in the UK,” says Gerber.

Sentiment for and against Brexit has changed drastically since leaving the EU in 2021. The expert points to a YouGov poll published in mid-July: “57% of Britons now think leaving the EU was a mistake. Only 32% They find that the exit is correct.”