Union Jack driving licence plan criticised by MSP

Picture: TSPL

Picture: TSPL

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Nationalist MSP Joan McAlpine has come under fire after calling for the union flag to be kept off new UK driving licences.

The South Scotland representative has been accused of “petty squabbling” and failing to accept the outcome of the independence referendum.

Ms McAlpine claims the UK Government plan to put the union flag on new driving licences is “imposing” a sense of UK identity on Scots - and undermines the “respect agenda” after the independence referendum.

Ms McAlpine said: “This is a political decision and the UK Government have been quite explicit about it being a political decision.”

UK transport minister Claire Perry says the move will foster a sense of “shared identity and national unity.”

But Ms McAlpine added: “A lot of people don’t share Claire Perry’s sense of identity and to impose it on people seems to have abandoned what we were told was the respect agenda after the independence referendum when a large number of people voted yes - not to be part of her sense of national identity.”

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Ms McAlpine added: “It just seems petty and political and not really part of the respect agenda going forward.”

Almost 10,00 Scots have signed a petition opposing the move.

But Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: “What part of the word No does Joan McAlpine not understand?

“The majority of Scots gave their support for the union – and it’s right that is recognised on new driving licences.

“Instead of provoking petty squabbles, the SNP should unite behind the decision made by the people of Scotland in September.”

Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott added: “I don’t remember the SNP complaining when they spent tens of thousands of pounds on Saltires.”

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