Published: Mon, April 08, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

United Kingdom removes words 'European Union' from British passports

United Kingdom removes words 'European Union' from British passports

In an apt sign of the befuddling circumstances around Brexit, Britain's interior ministry confirmed that some newly-issued passports now omit references to the European Union atop the cover while others still bear the bloc's name.

Despite the uncertainty, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it was only "sensible and efficient management" to begin transitioning to passports without European Union headers.

"We're still in the EU - Why doesn't my new passport reflect that?" You will not be able to choose whether you get a passport that includes the words "European Union", or a passport that does not.

Despite the political impasse over how to extricate the United Kingdom from the European Union, the bloc's name is already being removed from its passports.

Both passports remain equally valid for travel, the Home Office said, and a new blue passport design would be rolled out from late 2019.

Apparently, the Home Office is not simply hedging its bets on the UK's EU withdrawal, though, with officials telling the Independent that the remaining stock of passports bearing the "European Union" cover will still be issued as the newer post-Brexit ones are phased in.

Social media users have been shocked by the change.

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Not everyone is happy at receiving one of the new passports - one recipient said she was "truly appalled" at the change.

But it says some newly issued travel documents will still bear the European Union name which has traditionally been on the top of British passport covers, in a bid to save public money, until they run out and order a new batch.

Susan Hindle Barone, who was one of the first to receive the new-look passports, said: "I was shocked because we haven't left the European Union yet. 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", she said.

"What do we gain by leaving? There's certainly a whole lot we lose".

The decision earned the ire of British couple Peter and Jan Brady who were issued different passports - despite lodging their applications on the same day.

The former mayor of London's intervention came after May released a video on Sunday defending her talks with the Labour party, which were announced on 2 April as part of a new strategy to find consensus on Brexit.

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