Home Office admits UK passports now being issued without 'European Union' on cover

Posted On: 
6th April 2019

British passports without the words "European Union" on the front cover are being issued by the Government.

British passports with 'European Union' on the cover.
Credit: 
PA Images

The change was introduced on 30 March, the day after Britain was due to leave the bloc. 

In a statement, the Home Office explained that some passports would keep the words 'European Union' on them for “a short period”.

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“You will not be able to choose whether you get a passport that includes the words European Union, or a passport that does not," a spokesperson 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 include the words European Union. Both designs will be equally valid for travel."

Susan Hindle Barone, who received one of the new-look passports on Friday and drew widespread attention to the change, complained on Twitter that she was "truly appalled" at the change.

She said to the Press Association: "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."

Dark blue UK passports will start being issued from late 2019, after they became a rallying point for Leave supporters during the referendum. 

Speaking in December 2017, then Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said: "Leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world."