The Telegraph has launched a campaign to cut through red tape. So, for all you poor bastards stuck on 'extended verification' for a vat return that you submitted donkeys years ago, then do something about it.
Email: email@example.com and tell them all about extended verification. I defy anyone to find a better example of extreme red tape.
Do it. You have nothing to lose. HMRC is now known for their incompetence, so the timing is perfect.