European Parliament leaders today ruthlessly mocked Britain for celebrating the return of the UK’s iconic and much-missed blue passport.

The target of their scorn was Theresa May, who they accused of claiming credit for legislation devised by Brussels and lying to the British public over EU passport rules during a debate on Brexit.

MEPs in Strasbourg reserved particular derision for Mrs May’s insistence that changing the colour of Britain’s burgundy passports back to blue was an expression of post-Brexit “independence and sovereignty”.

Manfred Weber, the leader of the largest political group in the European Parliament, said there was nothing in EU rules that demanded passports be of a certain colour.

The close ally of Angela Merkel pointed to Croatia, an EU member state, where the passports are still blue even though it joined the EU in 2013.