Brexit blow as EU destinations stop recognising UK blue badges.
The government has admitted that most popular EU destinations no longer recognise the British disability blue badge. There are over 2 million blue badge holders in Britain.
Recognition on an automatic basis stopped when the EU transition period ended on December 31, 2020. It was promised that the government would negotiate deals with countries in the EU to ensure that blue badge holders could still use their badges in popular tourist destinations. Countries such as Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Greece are still in talks with the government in the UK.
A Department for Transport spokesperson commented on the issue and explained: “It has always been the case that disabled drivers should check the local rules in the country they are travelling in before using a disabled parking card abroad.
“Negotiations on Blue Badge recognition are ongoing between the UK and individual EU States, and motorists can always contact their embassy for advice or assistance if they need it.”
Speaking to The Independent, the head of policy at Disability Rights UK Fazilet Hadi commented: “For many disabled people, a car with a blue badge is the only option for being able to leave home. The Blue Badge enables visits to family and friends, trips to shops, restaurants and cinemas, and visits to the doctor or hospital.”
Hadi believes that it is “essential that Government ensures that Blue Badges are recognised across Europe to ensure that disabled people enjoy the same opportunities to travel”.
The government seems to have let the issue drop in its list of priorities.
Baroness Sal Brinton commented: “It is deeply disappointing that the government appear to have let this issue drop down their agenda.
“Disabled people already face a huge wave of difficulties others do not when trying to travel, either for work or for a holiday and this is yet another barrier for them.”
She went on to add: “By failing to secure a reciprocal deal on blue badge use, the Conservatives are letting disabled people down. The UK Government should renew their focus – reaching an agreement is clearly in everyone’s interest.”
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