The UK Independence Party, whose aim is to 'bring the European Parliament down from the inside,' claimed a hollow victory this week.
The Party which is demanding Britain's withdrawal from the EU, were toasting yesterday as UKIP made their one and only notable achievement since being elected to the European Parliament.
Under UK law, all flags - except national ones - are treated as advertising material. With this in mind, UKIP made a formal complaint to Westminster Council to remove the EU flag on the European Parliament's offices in London, which Westminster Council has confirmed as there illegally.
This followed a similar retreat by Wear Valley council in the North-East, which had been proudly flying the blue and gold "ring of stars" outside its offices, to honour the fact that its leader, Olive Brown, is a member of the EU's Committee of the Regions.
Local resident, Jim Tague, pointed out to the council that, under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulation 1992, the EU flag is classified as "an outdoor advertisement" and requires planning permission. Wear Valley was therefore forced to remove the flag.
Nevertheless it seems that UKIP's victory will be short lived. Planning inspectors will visit Westminster this week, and are likely to suggest that the European Parliament apply for retrospective consent to fly the flag
If this goes ahead UKIP say they will object. "This is a historic conservation area linked to the British government. As such, this flag sends out an inappropriate message to the public,"
"The general public should be protected from this sort of false advertising promoting worthless tat," said UKIP's MEP Nigel Farage. "This is the most important victory for consumer power in decades."
Source: The Sunday Times October 2nd