Nigel Farage has rejoiced after he received a new British passport without the words ‘European Union’ across the top, tweeting: “we got our passports back!”
During the Brexit campaign the then-UKIP leader would frequently brandish his passport at rallies and complained it referred to the EU. The new passports now refer only to the United Kingdom.
Since 1988 UK passports had featured the words 'European Union' across the top
Social media users are divided on Mr Farage’s celebratory tweet, with some disappointed the new passports were not the traditional UK blue colour.
Others said the passport is now a “symbol of all of the places” where Britons will soon no longer have freedom of movement.
Passports issued after the original Brexit date of March 29 have removed any mention of the EU, although they continued to feature the EU-standard burgundy cover.
In 2017 the Home Office released a mock-up image of a return to the “iconic” dark blue passport, which is expected to start being issued by the end of this year.
Then-immigration minister Brandon Lewis said: “Leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world.”
The current passport (left) and a Home Office mock-up of the future passport (right)
The new passports will be made by Franco-Dutch company Gemalto and current home secretary Priti Patel suggested the decision to hand the contract to a foreign company “disgraceful” and “perverse”.