Britain issues post-Brexit passports… before actually leaving the EU
Amid ongoing political chaos over how and when the UK will actually leave the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May this week asked for another membership extension until the end of June. This means that the UK is currently – and will be for the foreseeable future – a member of the EU. The Home Office, though, is clearly done with all the dallying and ready to move on.
Alarmed and “furious” Twitter user Susan Hindle Barone shared a photo of her new British passport alongside her expiring one to show the key post-Brexit cover change (even though the UK is not quite yet post-Brexit).
TRULY APPALLED. Picked up my new passport today - my old one expires in the next couple of months. See below: Spot the difference! pic.twitter.com/R7BW9lk6I5— Susan Hindle Barone (@SpinHBarone) April 5, 2019
I didn’t notice it until I looked at them next to each other. It makes me feel sick.— Susan Hindle Barone (@SpinHBarone) April 5, 2019
In an apt reflection of the ongoing Brexit chaos, another British citizen replied to that tweet by showing that their new passport still bears the ‘European Union’ membership note on its cover.
Phone them and ask for exchange of your passport. Mine been delivered yesterday. pic.twitter.com/C3xZD2Dy0K— Pele Masa (@Pele___70) April 5, 2019
Apparently, the Home Office is not simply hedging its bets on the UK’s EU withdrawal, though, with officials telling the Independent that the remaining stock of passports bearing the ‘European Union’ cover will still be issued as the newer post-Brexit ones are phased in.
The passport service has clarified that regardless of what the cover says, both designs are equally valid for travel for British citizens.
Hi, UK passports issued before we leave the EU will remain valid, and there will be no difference to passport privileges, or their acceptance, whether British citizens hold an EU-branded passport or not. Chris— Her Majesty’s Passport Office (@HM_Passport) April 5, 2019
There was a mixed reaction on Twitter to the early introduction of the new cover design, with some people absolutely delighted to be rid of any mention of the EU on their passport, and others alarmed to see the first concrete signs of Brexit.
Good to know I need to renew and can't wait to get that cancerous title off my passport— garrood (@garrood) April 5, 2019
You're lucky; when I renewed earlier this year, I received one with European Union still spat on it!— Tom Hatton (@tomhatton1) April 5, 2019
They’ve improved it! 😘— Scott Davies (@greatscotti) April 5, 2019
How can this be? 😠😠😠 UK is still a member!!— Ann Lander 🇪🇺 (@F1Annie) April 5, 2019
When we remain after all and all passports get the EU logo back on, it will have real historical value x— Helenweybourne#FBPE (@BettsHelen) April 5, 2019
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