Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said British driving licences and number plates would have the EU flag removed and be replaced with the Union flag. Mr Shapps says the change helps to mark one year since the UK’s exit from the EU on 31st January 2020.
But SNP MP Tommy Sheppard claimed the move would “backfire” saying it shows the UK Government was “descending into right-wing, flag-waving British nationalism”.
The SNP’s constitutional spokesperson added: “At the end of the day it is a pretty stupid move.
“Their ineptitude will build support for Scottish independence but that doesn’t make it right.
“It is absurd and shows a Westminster establishment in a state of panic at the rising popularity of independence.
“It highlights their desire to extinguish that by branding everything with a Union Jack.
“The UK Government ought to engage with public opinion in Scotland, not try to hammer it into submission.”
Meanwhile, Professor Sir Tom Devine, Emeritus Professor of Scottish history at the University of Edinburgh said the move would increase support for Scottish independence.
He added to The Times: “Instead of promoting unity I think it could well have the reverse effect.”
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A recently signed deal with the EU means UK drivers who hold photocard licences will not need an international driving permit to drive in any of the 27 EU member states as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein.
Alongside this, British drivers won’t need to display a GB sticker in most EU countries if their number plate has GB or GB with a Union Flag 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.”