A petition signed by nearly seven thousand people has been delivered to Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street today, opposing the Westminster Government’s decision to place the Union Jack on all new driving licences in Wales.
Campaigners are calling on the Government to change its decision or give people in Wales the choice to have the Welsh flag on their licences instead.
Petition organiser Gwenith Owen was joined by Plaid Cymru MPs Hywel Williams and Jonathan Edwards, along with Mr Williams’ constituent Nathan Price from Bethel, Caernarfon.
Hywel Williams MP led the call for the Government to review its decision, saying the move showed a complete disregard to national identity and was an affront to the respect agenda between the nations of the UK.
Hywel Williams said: “The Government decided to push ahead with this blatant political stunt without consulting us here in Wales; those whom it would directly affect. They’re willing to spend nearly £200,000 on putting the Union Jack on licences in England, Wales and Scotland, but claim placing our own Welsh flag on licences in Wales would be too costly.
“Using cost as a rationale is absurd. Who knew changing ink from blue to green would be such a costly venture.
“Thousands have signed this petition, many of them young people who’ll be receiving their licences for the first time. They’ll now be forced to accept this. It simply isn’t acceptable that people are denied the opportunity to choose what appears on their personal licence due to a propaganda-driven stunt leading up to an election.”
Gwenith Owen said: “I’m pleased to be able to present this petition to the Prime Minister at Downing Street and represent the seven thousand who oppose this politically-driven policy. However, this is not the end of our campaign.
“We will continue to lobby the Government until their decision is overturned in Wales. We should not accept NO as a final answer.”
Nathan Price from Bethel, Caernarfon added: “When I passed my driving test I was excited about receiving my licence card through the post. This card is part of who I am, it’s part of my identity.
“The Government’s decision to change the licence for everybody in Wales in favour of one stamped with a Union Jack is unacceptable. This is something neither I nor many of my friends asked for.
“It’s an unnecessary cost. If they feel compelled to put a flag on the licence, then for us in Wales it should be a Welsh one. I’m very proud of my Welsh identity.”