United Kingdom passports issued without 'European Union' label despite Brexit delay

Britain issues post-Brexit passports… before actually leaving the EU

European Union leaders agreed last month to extend the Brexit date from March 29 until April 12, unless May can push their mutually consented divorce deal through Parliament.

The UK government has started to issue passports to citizens with the words "European Union" removed despite the fact that Britain is still in the EU.

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has justified the move on the grounds of efficiency, because some passport centres no longer have stocks of the previous design.

The new passports were first introduced on March 30, a day after the United Kingdom was initially scheduled to leave the 28-member bloc.

Some burgundy passports mentioning the European Union will be issued until they're used up - but those applying for new documents won't be able to choose.

The new production contract is to begin in October 2019, with passports now being issued in the burgundy colour.

Both types will be equally legal, as the transition slowly takes effect.

The rollout is part of a two-stage design change that will see new blue passports being "phased in gradually" later this year.

In the event that the United Kingdom introduces a visa requirement for nationals of at least one member state in the future, the existing reciprocity mechanism would apply and the three European Union institutions and the member states would undertake to act without delay in applying the mechanism.

But some people might still receive the old version until stocks run out, reported BBC News on Saturday. The country's struggle to leave the European Union is one of the great political crisis to afflict Britain in the postwar period. She had previously tweeted a photo comparing her old and new passports.

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. "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", Susan Hindle Barone told the UK's Press Association.

"Leaving the European Union gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world", Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said at the time. "There's certainly a whole lot we lose".

Its colour will change from burgundy to blue later in the year, marking a return to the colour first used in 1921.

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