Despite Brexit delay, United Kingdom issues new passports without 'EU' label

Mae Love
April 8, 2019

Last month, even as lawmakers wrestled over the principal terms of the withdrawal process known as Brexit, the Home Office said that the design of new passports would change after March 29, the initial date set for Britain's departure.

"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".

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.

The Home Office said some people may still receive the old version until stocks run out.

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, who had campaigned to bring the blue passport back, said the change amounted to a Christmas present "to those who care about our national identity, drawing the ire of a few constituents who ironically questioned whether the new design would allow them to work in neighboring countries". I assumed we would get the same old passport.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Burgundy passports that no longer include the words European Union on the front cover were introduced from 30 March 2019". You will not be able to choose whether you get a passport that includes the words "European Union", or a passport that does not. He said he knew many remain voters who still had an "attachment for" and spoke fondly of the blue passport.

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Leading eurosceptic Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg said if Britain were to stay in the European Union beyond April 12, the country should become the bloc's most hard member and veto a seven-year financial framework.

She told the Press Association she thought the design should not change as long as the United Kingdom remained in the EU.

"It's not so much about that but it's the first tangible sign of us leaving the European Union".

"I think both sides are committed to working quite rigorously to compromise as much as possible so that we can provide that compromise Brexit deal that I think parliament desperately needs at the moment", she told the BBC. But for Britons, whose passports sometimes are their only form of identification, the document has come to symbolize Brexit.

The UK government made a decision in 2017 to change the colour of British passports from burgundy red to dark blue.

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