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How British Passports will change post Brexit?

As of August 2016 (the writing of this article) the ramifications of Britain's decision to leave the European Union are yet to be seen. With no clear plan in place and the resignations of many of those at the top of UK politics the waters appear muddier than ever. Opinion is split over everything from the time frame of any Brexit to the legality of any such divorce. One this is for certain however, the decision of over 17 million UK residents to leave the European Union will have a long lasting and monumental effect on the value, power and look of a post Brexit British Passport. Here we will explore and speculate what any changes may look like.

The most obvious physical change to the new look post Brexit passports would be the removal of the European Union text on the front page. The UK will remain a member of the EU for as long as it takes to negotiate the exit deal. Estimates on this range from anything from 2 years (a fixed limit if Article 50 is triggered) to a much longer period spanning in to decades if negotiations become protracted, lengthy, and embroiled in political red tape.

In the short term there is no need for British citizens to be overly concerned about the look and status of their British passport. Britain remains in the EU and those with biometric passports (recognisable from the camera like motif on the front of British passports) can still use ePassport lanes at most EU airports. Once the UK does leave the EU there will presumably have to be new passports issued without the 'European Union' text. One likely way of dealing with this new rollout would be a phased process in which once existing passports expire they are simply replaced with new passports which carry the new 'Brexit Passport' design.

As well as changes to passports it will also be interesting to see how Brexit effects the status of the European Health Insurance Card (Ehic). Currently the Ehic entitles travellers to state provided emergency medical treatment within whichever EU country they are visiting. British driving licenses also carry an EU flag motif in the top corner and changes would be expected to be rolled out on a similar basis as those applied to passports.

The only thing certain about Brexit is the uncertainty it has caused. At every level of British society Brexit has caused for difficult questions to be asked with, as yet, not many answers available.

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