Burgundy passports lose words 'European Union' despite Brexit delay

PUBLISHED: 08:52 06 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:55 06 April 2019

Handout photo taken from the twitter feed of SpinHBarone of her new passport (left) and her old passport (right). British passports without the words

Handout photo taken from the twitter feed of SpinHBarone of her new passport (left) and her old passport (right). British passports without the words "European Union" on the front cover have been issued despite the Brexit delay. Photograph: @SpinHBarone/PA Wire.

British passports without the words European Union on the front cover have been issued despite the Brexit delay.

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The burgundy passports were introduced from March 30, the day after Britain was expected to leave the EU.

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

But those applying for a new travel document will not be able to choose between the two.

Susan Hindle Barone, who recently picked up her new passport, said on Twitter she was “truly appalled”.

“I was just surprised - we’re still members of the EU,” she told the Press Association.

“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.

“What do we gain by leaving? There’s certainly a whole lot we lose.”

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

“What really matters are the potential changes to our country - the damage to the economy, our communities and our international standing.”

The decision to remove the words was made in anticipation of Britain leaving the EU at the end of last month.

Dark blue passports are scheduled to be issued from the end of this year.

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.

“In order to use leftover stock and achieve best value to the taxpayer, passports that include the words European Union will continue to be issued for a short period after this date.

“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.”

Last month Poundland appeared to solve the issue of Brexit for Brexiteers who voted out just for blue passports, by offering covers in blue and burgundy. The pro-EU cover includes a message “still proud to be European”.

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