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.
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."