Disabled driving licenses could be denied in Europe due to Brexit hangover

Ministers are still negotiating with 11 countries over the status of Britain’s blue badges, which were recognized across the EU until the country left the union two years ago. France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy are among the countries still ‘undecided’ over whether to recognize British blue badges, according to the UK government’s website. The others are Iceland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania and Slovenia.

The AA said disabled drivers could face parking fines if they use their permits in these countries, as it criticized the situation as “simply unacceptable”.

The government has told badge holders to “check with the embassy of the country you are traveling to for the latest developments”.

But the auto association said consulates had insisted they could not advise disabled drivers until an agreement was reached.

Jack Cousens, head of traffic policy for the AA, said: ‘Keeping blue badge users in limbo is simply unacceptable. Blue badges are issued for specific health reasons, and not having their status confirmed two years later is simply outrageous.

“Rather than take a chance, we encourage blue badge users to use the drop-off and collection areas where possible while the car is parked in a wheelchair-accessible bay.

“While problematic, this reduces the risk of a vehicle being ticketed or towed. While the government website asks blue badge users to ask consulates for further advice on accepting their blue badge, most could not provide any assurance or advice to the AA.

“The UK government and the 11 European countries that have yet to ratify the status of blue badges issued by the UK must urgently resolve the issue and provide clarification to all concerned.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Blue Badge recognition negotiations are ongoing between the UK and individual EU states, and motorists should consult our guidance for where the Blue Badge is recognized in the EU.”

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