'Pro-Brexit' petition demands no French words on passports, misses the obvious

Louis Dor
Saturday 06 August 2016 16:40
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Picture: NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images

Parliamentary e-petitions have ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous this year, and they show absolutely no signs of stopping.

The latest offering features the request that all French words be removed from the covers of any new UK passports.

The petition reads:

The vote to leave the EU means people voted to Take Back Control. Control of their borders, their culture and their language. Whether 'Dieu et mon droit' and 'Honi qui mal y pense' have existed as mottos in England for ages is irrelevant. French is an EU language and has no place on a UK passport.

Of course, 'Dieu et mon droit' (God and my right) and 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' (Spurned be the one who evil thinks) appear on the royal coat of arms, but there is an even more simple problem with this petition, as some have pointed out.

Yep, the word passport itself derives from French.

Thankfully, despite substantial media coverage, not many people are signing - at the time of writing it has yet to hit 200.

This is probably because it appears only to be a joke - if you google the creator Richard Bernden's name, you'll find a host of pro-remain comments and other such petitions.

But for the sake of argument, what would we call our new travel documents?

More: The map of the world according to each country's passport colour

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