The SNP and Plaid Cymru have submitted an amendment to the Postal Services Bill, which is receiving its third reading, to ensure that distinctive Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English designs remain on stamps in the event of Royal Mail being privatised.
Ministers have already announced that the Queen’s head will remain on stamps but SNP Postal Affairs spokesperson Mike Weir MP called for the guarantee to be extended to ensure that national achievements, historical figures, commemorations and celebrations currently depicted are not replaced with corporate logos.
Mr Weir said:
“Distinctive national designs have long been a key and collectable feature of Royal Mail stamps and it would be a sad day if these were replaced with corporate logos.
“Just as the government have acted to ensure the Queen’s head stays on stamps, we should also protect the future of much-loved national designs like the lion rampant and Saltire on Scottish stamps and the dragon on Welsh stamps.
“I hope that all MPs will recognise that in the age of devolution it is important to acknowledge the distinctiveness of the nations of the UK. It would be a tragedy if these national designs, which have been issued for over fifty years, became another victim of Royal Mail privatisation.
“Of course, the best option would be to step back from privatisation of Royal Mail altogether. Privatisation would undoubtedly threaten the future of deliveries, jobs and services.
“Royal Mail cannot be viewed as just another company. It provides an essential public service, especially to smaller communities and small businesses who do not have access to alternative carriers.”
The text of the SNP Plaid amendment is set out below:
Clause 60 page 37 line 22 after “stamps “ insert (a)
Clause 60 page 37 line 23 insert
“(b) requiring that they continue to issue definitive stamps in each nation of the United Kingdom which include the symbols of that nation.”