Published: Mon, April 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Britain issues passports without 'European Union' on cover

Britain issues passports without 'European Union' on cover

Britain has begun issuing passports with the words "European Union" removed from the front cover - despite Brexit being delayed and its political leaders deadlocked over how to extricate the country from the bloc.

Regarding the new passports, the Home Office have released a statement saying the removal of the words "European Union" was part of a two-stage process that will culminate in the old blue British passports being reissued from late 2019. A year ago it emerged that Franco-Dutch company Gemalto had won the contract to make the new blue passports, prompting fury from Brexit campaigners and more ridicule from Remainers that a British company was not chosen.

"I was surprised they've made the change when we haven't left, and it's a tangible mark of something which I believe to be completely futile".

Theresa May's government requested a delay back in March, to avoid the potential chaos of a no-deal Brexit.

Some documents including the words European Union will continue to be issued while the remaining stock is used up.

While Tom Hatton tweeted: "You're lucky when I renewed earlier this year, I received one with European Union still spat on it!"

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The introduction of these new passports has angered those applying for new ones who were hoping to hold on to an emblem of European Union membership.

Britons have expressed mixed feelings about the new design, with some shocked that the change has been made before Brexit.

Media captionWhy British passports are changing colours after Brexit - and do Brits welcome the switch? It is not clear when, or if, the United Kingdom will leave the EU. "It's not so much about that but it's the first tangible sign of us leaving the European Union".

A British couple who applied for their passports on the same day received different versions - one with European Union on the cover, the other without.

It's a pre-emptive move, even though the contentious Brexit is now delayed and no clear date has been set when Britain will leave the bloc.

The passport service has clarified that regardless of what the cover says, both designs are equally valid for travel for British citizens. "There's certainly a whole lot we lose", she said.

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