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That’s why Brits still drive with EU signs

That’s why Brits still drive with EU signs

It has now been almost three years since Brexit. And yet: Brits still drive with EU car plates. A Swiss tourist is surprised.

Three years after Brexit, many Britons still have EU car plates (left). – Reader Reporter

The essentials in a nutshell

  • In February 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union.
  • A Swiss woman has just discovered that many cars still have EU plates.
  • According to one expert, this is due to the effort and cost of changing symptoms.

Swiss Nina K. * Wonders during his holidays in London and Brighton: “I noticed that every third car still has the EU logo on the license plate,” he says.

It’s been more than three years since Brexit: From February 1, 2020, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union. The election result was very close – only 51.9 percent were in favor of leaving.

That’s why the Swiss is skeptical: “I wondered if it was some kind of peaceful protest against Brexit.”


Have you ever been to London on holiday?

SRF Great Britain correspondent Michael Gerber believes in another reason.

“Changing a number plate costs £60 or more, and the effort is considerable. This is probably the main reason cars with EU stars and stripes are still found on British roads to this day.”

Many Britons may have other concerns than the stars on their number plates.

The government could suddenly ban EU symbols

In England, the Conservative Party that brought about Brexit is still in power. Apparently, he doesn’t want to ban the EU ID – it’s still legal to drive with it.

“As far as I know, a ban is not currently planned,” says Gerber. “But of course what applies to Brexit also applies to the rest of the EU star number plates. Surprises are always possible.”

The UK expert believes the government will suddenly be useful again to “revitalise opposition to Brussels”. Such a ban may still be appropriate.

However: “Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – unlike his predecessor Boris Johnson – is trying to calm EU relations and shape them constructively.”

Many Britons regret Brexit

One can only speculate whether some Britons will continue to drive around with an EU sign in protest. One thing is clear: “Brexit is going to be a hot topic in the UK,” says Gerber.

Pro- and anti-Brexit sentiment has fundamentally changed since leaving the EU in 2021. The expert refers to a YouGov poll published in mid-July: “57 percent of Britons now think it was a mistake to leave the EU. Only 32 percent see the exit as OK.