Much of Brexit is still in limbo as the details (including the actual departure date) are ironed out, but one aspect of the controversial new policy has already moved forward. The “European Union” has been officially removed from the cover of UK passports, in a symbolic step toward the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union.
Regardless of the state of Brexit’s finer details, the passport design was slated to change after March 29, which was the initial date set for the UK’s departure from the EU. Even though the departure deadline was extended until April 12, the passport changes have already gone into effect.
Susan Hindle Barone, an early recipient of the new passport, wrote on Twitter that she was “Truly appalled. I didn’t notice it until I looked at them next to each other. It makes me feel sick.” Barone, a supporter of remaining in the EU, said, “It’s not the passport itself, but what the changes symbolize — something which I believe to be completely futile.”
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
Although these new passports are already being rolled out, the old passports will continue to be produced for a little while, and will remain valid for travel. If you have obtained one of the new passports and are not happy about it, Twitter has got you (and your travel document) covered:
No worries, these are available online….. pic.twitter.com/FDboC9usqy
— EU Flag Mafia (@EUflagmafia) April 6, 2019
It’s worth noting that while the EU requires all its members to make passports with certain uniform security elements, a streamlined design is not in place. Most member countries, however, follow a similar layout. Until 1988 Britain issued blue passports, then changed the cover to burgundy to fall in line with its European partners. Now, those blue passports are expected to make a comeback.
H/T: The New York Times