MILLIONS of motorists could need to buy a £5.50 permit in order to drive in Europe after Brexit, according to the National Audit Office.
A report on the Department for Transport’s Brexit preparations from the government spending watchdog estimates up to 7m International Driving Permits (which allow UK motorists to drive in countries such as the United States of America) could be issued in the year following a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Currently, just 100,000 International Driving permits are issued in the UK through the Post Office every year.
Under existing EU rules, British motorists with a full UK driving license are able to drive freely in countries that are part of the European Union and the European Economic Area.
Should a Brexit deal not be reached, it is claimed that additional documentation could be required for UK motorists to legally drive in EU and EEA territories, and vice versa for European drivers.
The National Audit Office report also stated that the DfT “had not completed a business case or agreed detailed delivery plans” for the International Driving Permit contingency arrangement for a no-deal Brexit.
Overall, the report concluded the DfT was making a “determined effort” to come up with and enact proposals and systems for when the UK leaves the European Union, with the preparation of “the large volume of secondary legislation that is expected to be needed before March 2019” being singled out particularly for praise.
However, it also recommended the DfT should “develop a much clearer integrated plan of the full range of implementation activities”, so Whitehall can determine whether it has the sufficient resources to complete them all by the Brexit deadline.
The watchdog head Sir Amyas Morse went on to state: “The department has achieved a great deal in its preparations but over the coming months it will, like many other departments, need to scramble to prepare for the UK’s EU exit.”