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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 April 2019

UK passports issued without 'European Union' label despite Brexit delay

The new documents were introduced on March 30, the day after Brexit was originally planned to take place

A British passport with the word 'European Union' stamped on the cover. Getty
A British passport with the word 'European Union' stamped on the cover. Getty

New versions of Britain's burgundy passports are being issued without the words "European Union" stamped on the cover, despite continued uncertainty over Brexit.

The passports started appearing from March 30, which would have been the day after the UK left the EU had Brexit gone ahead as originally planned.

A new version of the passport, in the dark blue used before the country joined the EU, is expected to be issued from the end of the year after a campaign by Brexit supporters to bring it back.

Susan Hindle Barone tweeted an image of her new passport, issued on Friday, alongside her expired one.

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

"I was just surprised – we're still members of the EU. 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."

Some passports including the words "European Union" are still being issued and will continue for a short period until stock runs out, a Home Office spokeswoman 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. Both designs will be equally valid for travel," she said, in quotes published by the BBC.

Updated: April 7, 2019 02:59 PM

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