NewsUnion symbol: “UK” instead of “GB” on British cars

Union symbol: “UK” instead of “GB” on British cars

The state is called the United Kingdom, but the international identifier has been “GB” for decades. That is changing now. But not everyone is happy with the decision.

London – There are only two letters, but they bring many British drivers off track: in future, cars for trips abroad will have to have a sticker on the back with the words “UK”.

The previous “GB” will then no longer be valid on its own from September 28th, as emphasized by the Ministry of Transport in London, in which case an additional “UK” sticker is required. According to the government, this is made possible by Brexit.

“The change of the national identifier from ‘GB’ to ‘UK’ symbolizes our unity as a nation and is part of a more comprehensive step towards the use of the ‘UK’ symbol in the entire government,” the ministry explained the procedure. The United Nations have been informed. Supporters emphasize that the people in Northern Ireland finally felt addressed. The British Province does not belong to Great Britain, but it does belong to the United Kingdom.

Protests by traditionalists

Traditionalists on the island, however, reacted indignantly to the changes. “It’s a waste of time, a waste of money, and I don’t know why we’re bothering about it at all,” said Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger after the Daily Mail announcement. “It also feels like a slap in the face for people who are proud of Britain.”

The President of the Automobile Association (AA), the British equivalent of the ADAC, Edmund King, criticized that with “GB” a symbol of the country was disappearing. There are many old-timers that have integrated or incorporated “GB” metal plates on the back. “Now you have to stick a tasteless ‘UK’ plastic sticker next to it,” criticized King in the conservative newspaper “Daily Telegraph”. This would mean that “another element of British motoring” would be lost: the famous “GB” sticker.

Against the protests of traditionalists and AA, the round tax badges on the windshield had already been abolished in 2014 after almost 100 years in favor of a digital system.

The move is also interesting because the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently responded to the feelings of traditionally minded Britons with other decisions. For example, several EU rules that were regarded as rigid and nonsensical and that London initially continued to apply were abolished. In the future, grocers will again be able to use imperial units of measurement such as ounces and pounds to indicate weights. Beer-drinking Brexit supporters are also happy that the “Crown Stamp” is allowed to return to the pint beer glasses as a sign of correct calibration.

The government defended its decision. The Department of Transport said the majority of British cars do not have a national identity document anyway. No nationality code is required within the UK. Some also use only Scottish or Welsh abbreviations or symbols. The driver would have to buy a sticker for trips abroad anyway, the ministry said. The “UK” stickers can be ordered online and bought in post offices and workshops and cost 1.50 pounds each (approx. 1.75 euros). dpa

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