British passports without ‘European Union’ issued despite Brexit delay

UK passport without words European Union

The British government has started issuing passports without the words "European Union" on them even though the United Kingdom remains a full member of the bloc - for now.

Susan Hindle Barone, who said on Twitter she received a new passport on Friday, tweeted she was "TRULY APPALLED" by the change to the document's cover.

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

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.

Drivers who held pink plastic permits under European Union standards were told to get ready to apply for global licenses in case Britain left without a deal.

"Specifically provided we are leaving the European Union then it is important that we compromise, that's what this is about and it is through gritted teeth", said Andrea Leadsom, the Brexit-supporting Leader of the House of Commons, parliament's lower house.

She said: "There will be no difference for British citizens whether they are using a passport that includes the words European Union, or a passport that does not".

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A new version of the British passport, in the dark blue used before the country joined the European Union, is expected to be issued from the end of the year after a campaign by Brexit supporters to bring it back. "It's hard to imagine that we are going to make real progress now without either a general election or a second referendum on any deal she can get over the line in parliament", she told Sky News. "There's certainly a whole lot we lose".

The office said "both designs will be equally valid for travel".

Britain was expected to leave the European Union on the 29 March.

Post-Brexit UK passports are expected to look entirely different, abandoning the burgundy colour that the UK adopted in 1988 to be in line with the rest of Europe.

She added: "Let's face it, it's not the changes to the passport - it's just symbolic".

"Passports that include the words "European Union" will continue to be issued for a short period after this date".

The Home Office has confirmed that some passports introduced after March 30 no longer include references to the EU.

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