UK Issuing Passports Without 'European Union' On Cover

The prime minister has requested another extension until 30th June

The prime minister has requested another extension until 30th June

Britain has begun issuing passports with the words "European Union" removed from the front cover - despite Brexit being delayed and its political leaders deadlocked over how to extricate the country from the bloc.

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

Despite the uncertainty, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it was only "sensible and efficient management" to begin transitioning to passports without European Union headers.

Britain has stripped its passports of the words "European Union" despite the Brexit divorce deal being delayed - a move which remainers aren't happy about.

Susan Hindle Barone told the Press Association: "I was just surprised - we're still members of the EU.

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

Britain was supposed to leave the European Union on March 29, but requested a delay after parliament failed to approve a divorce deal the British government had negotiated with Brussels to minimise disruptions.

By the end of the year, the burgundy passports are scheduled to be replaced with the dark blue design British passports had before the European Union came about.

"You will not be issued with a passport that includes the words "European Union" after the United Kingdom has left the EU. It's sensible and efficient management".

"There shouldn't be any surprises that nearly three years after the country voted to leave, [UK Home Office] is getting on with implementing that decision", he wrote on Twitter.

The travel documents had dark blue covers from 1921, but Britain switched to burgundy from 1988, in common with other passports in what was then the European Community.

"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".

Both passports are valid, the ministry said in a statement, adding that citizens can not choose whether they would like the words included or not.

Both passports remain equally valid for travel, the Home Office said, and a new blue passport design would be rolled out from late 2019.

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