British citizens start to receive new passports without the words "European Union" on the cover, despite the Brexit delay, reports the BBC.
New dark red passports were introduced from March 30, the day after Britain had to leave the EU, but some citizens can still get the old version before stocks run out.
"TRULY APPALLED. Picked up my new passport today - my old one expires in the next couple of months. See below: Spot the difference!" wrote on Twitter one of the users.
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
The decision to cancel the inscription "European Union" was taken in anticipation that Britain would leave the EU at the end of March, as planned.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior said that “for British citizens, it makes no difference whether they use a passport with inscription “European Union”, or a passport without these words.”
“The Council and the European Parliament have agreed that, following Brexit, UK citizens coming to the Schengen area for a short stay (90 days in any 180 days) should be granted visa free travel. This agreement was confirmed yesterday by EU ambassadors on behalf of the Council and by the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee today. The text now needs to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council,” the message reads.
It was noted that the organizations would adopt the reached agreement later.
“According to EU rules, visa exemption is granted on condition of reciprocity. The government of the United Kingdom has stated that it does not intend to require a visa from EU citizens travelling to the UK for short stays. 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 EU institutions and the member states would undertake to act without delay in applying the mechanism. The Commission would monitor the respect of the principle of reciprocity on a continuous basis and immediately inform the European Parliament and the Council of any developments which could endanger the respect of this principle,” the press office informed.
Earlier, the House of Commons of the British Parliament ruled to delay the procedure of Brexit until late June.