The United Kingdom has started issuing out passports without having the “European Union” on the front cover despite not making head way with Brexit and its political leaders deadlocked over how to extricate the country from the bloc.
The interior ministry said Saturday that a longstanding decision to start introducing passports without reference to the EU had gone ahead from March 30, the day after the original date for Brexit.
Prime Minister Theresa May has delayed leaving the bloc after 46 years of membership amid stubborn opposition in parliament to the divorce deal she finalised with European leaders in November.
The MPs have overwhelmingly rejected the agreement three times.
Ahead of an EU summit on Wednesday, she was forced to ask them for another extension, until June 30, to prevent Britain departing with no deal at the end of next week.
But with EU heads growing increasingly impatient at the political paralysis in Westminster, they could offer just a shorter postponement — or a longer period of up to a year.
The other 27 members must give unanimous backing to any extension.
May is trying to break the parliamentary gridlock by striking a compromise deal with the main Labour opposition.
Senior ministers have spent several days negotiating with its leaders, but there were signs Friday that talks were stalling after Labour complained of no “real change or compromise”.
British finance minister Philip Hammond nonetheless struck an optimistic tone at a meeting Saturday of European finance ministers in Bucharest, telling reporters there were “no red lines” in the ongoing discussions.
He believes that an agreement will be reached soon, “I expect we will reach some form of agreement.”