Cheers and jeers for UK's post-Brexit 'iconic' blue passport

Saul Bowman
December 26, 2017

The new blue British passports will be issued from October 2019, removing the words "European Union", now at the top of the travel document.

But many are not happy with the glee of Brexit backers, which was changed to reflect the passport colour of choice held by the EU.

The new passports will be issued from October 2019.

Britain's immigration minister Brandan Lewis announced on Thursday all passports issued after October 2019 will be navy blue in a return to the UK's "old blue" model it had for most of the 20th century.

But Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, called for a parliamentary debate about whether the Government should adopt a "buy British" policy after hearing that the new passports could be made overseas.

"One of the most iconic things about being British is having a British passport".

Official guidance advises that member states' passports should be "burgundy red" and include stipulated features, such as the number of pages and information that must be included.

Meanwhile, those against the departure have slammed May for pursuing a "hard Brexit", which would end freedom of movement between the United Kingdom and the EU, halt London's membership of the single market, and see its withdrawal from the customs union.

The redesign, which routinely happens every five years, will come as part of a £490 million contract which also covers printing and assembling passports and runs for 11-and-a-half years.

"No - but look, it's blue".

Britain's burgundy passports were first issued a generation ago, in 1988.

"Leaving the European Union gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world", Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said in an official statement.

Conservative MP Anna Soubry, a Remain supporter, tweeted: "Stand by for street parties as blue passports return. The UK could have had any passport colour it wanted and stay in the European Union".

And a separate poll published by the Guardian found 72% of young people say they will miss having an European Union passport.

But another backbench Tory MP expressed concern in the Commons yesterday that the new passports could be made in Berlin.

NHS Million, a group of NHS staff campaigning to protect the service, pointed out the campaign's questionable priorities, saying: "Our NHS is on its knees, yet the most popular newspaper in the country spends its time campaigning to change the colour of our passports".

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