NI drivers need licence opt-in

Operating Room''Accident and Emergency, A+E, A&E, Hospital.
Operating Room''Accident and Emergency, A+E, A&E, Hospital.

I want to express my disappointment at the announcement by Transport Minister, Claire Perry about the new UK driving licenses which are to display the Union Flag.

This driving license will be available across the UK except in Northern Ireland.

Ms Perry said: ‘British motorists will soon be able to fly the flag with pride, people in this country rightly take pride in our national flag which is why I am delighted it will now be displayed on British driving licences. Celebrating Britain strengthens our sense of national identity and our unity. I will feel proud to carry my new licence and I hope others will too.’

Unfortunately this statement does not apply to us. Every region of the UK can enjoy this sense of identity except Northern Ireland.

I understand that the situation here is different but as constituents have suggested, an ‘opt in, opt out’ option for people would be reasonable.

I have written to the Transport Minister. I find it vital that we at least be given the option in Northern Ireland – this sense of national identity is important for all of us, across every region of the UK of which Northern Ireland plays a vital part.

Jim Shannon

MP Strangford