Britons across the United Kingdom this month were surprised to learn that their renewed passports had been stripped of their European Union badge.
After renewing their passports, Peter and Jan Brady were equally surprised to learn that the former had had its EU status removed.
Peter Brady said he was “very happy” he received one of the new passports without the European Union label. Jan Brady, on the other hand, was very “unhappy” she hadn’t received her matching passport, the BBC reported.
The decision to remove the badge was made in 2017, in the expectation that the UK and Northern Ireland would have left the EU last month.
It is unclear when the UK will leave the EU; however, the British Home Office has said that some citizens may receive old versions of the passport “until stocks run out”.
Susan Hindle Barone, a recipient of a changed burgundy passport, told the Press Association she thought the design should remain the same, so long as the UK remained part of the EU.
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
A UK Home Office spokesperson said that “in order to use leftover stock and achieve best value to the taxpayer”, passports that include the words European Union would continue to be issued for “a short period”.
After that, the burgundy and gold of current British passports will be replaced by blue – which are due to be rolled out by the end of the year, according to the BBC – returning to the design used some 100 years ago in the UK.
“What does this new passport do?”
“Can I use it to travel freely and work in 26 neighbouring countries?”
“No – but look, it’s blue.”
— John O'Farrell (@mrjohnofarrell) December 22, 2017
Al Jazeera also reported that Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, who had campaigned to bring the blue passport back, said the change amounted to a Christmas present “to those who care about our national identity”.
This drew the ire of a few constituents, who ironically questioned whether the new design would allow them to work in neighbouring countries.