A Home Office spokeswoman told the British broadcaster that delivery centers will continue printing the pre-Brexit EU-UK design until stocks run out “in order… to achieve best value to the taxpayer”.
“There will be no difference for British citizens whether they are using a passport that includes the words European Union, or a passport that does not. Both designs will be equally valid for travel,” she said.
Britons have expressed mixed feelings about the new design, with some shocked that the change has been made before Brexit.
Susan Hindle Barone told the Press Association she thought the design should not change as long as the UK remained part of the EU.
“I was just surprised – we’re still members of the EU. 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,” she said.
Post-Brexit UK passports are expected to look entirely different, abandoning the burgundy colour that the UK adopted in 1988 to be in line with the rest of Europe.
In late 2017, then Immigration Minister Brandon Lewisannouncedthat the UK would return to the “iconic” blue and gold design, which had been used some 100 years ago.
“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
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, drawing the ire of a few constituents who ironically questioned whether the new design would allow them to work in neighboring countries.