The Home Office has confirmed the UK’s new blue passport will be issued from next month, replacing the burgundy coloured passport used by European Union countries since 1988.
It will also be the “greenest British passport ever”, according to a government spokesperson, who said: “The carbon footprint produced through manufacture will be reduced to net zero, through projects such as planting trees.”
The new passport is made in Poland by Gemalto, a subsidiary of the French multinational Thanos group, who won the 11-year £360 million contract and replace the UK based De La Rue company who had held the previous contract since 2009 and employed 600 people at its Gateshead factory.
Home secretary Priti Patel said with the return to “the iconic blue and gold design, the British passport will once again be entwined with our national identity and I cannot wait to travel on one.”
Blue passports were used up until the UK chose to change to the burgundy colour, in line with other EU countries in 1988 and, as the BBC report: “Securing a change in the design became a rallying point for Brexit supporters.”
The Sun claims victory – EU burgundy ‘rubbed us up the wrong way’
As such, the Sun newspaper is claiming a “victory” having “campaigned tirelessly to reinstate Brit’s iconic dark blue passports following the decision to quit the EU.”
The paper says: “They are a welcome restoration of a powerful symbol of sovereignty. Most Brits consider themselves British, not European, citizens. So EU-issued burgundy passports always rubbed us up the wrong way. At last, a real sign that Britain is OUT.”
However, it’s not good news for all their readers as the current colour will still be issued, alongside the new one, until June.
‘Blue will represent economic harm and limited horizons’
“Brits applying for a passport will not get a choice over whether theirs is blue or burgundy”, says the tabloid, adding: “Those issued with a standard ten-year burgundy passport will be stuck with it until 2030.”
The MP for Belfast South, Claire Hanna, said: “The fact that this is being lauded as a big win sums up Brexit. The colour changes but the opportunity and potential has been restricted.
“In this case, blue will represent economic harm and limited horizons for the passport holder, and that is a crying shame.”
Blue is a ‘very cheap dye to make’
Martin Lloyd, author of The Passport: The History of Man’s Most Travelled Document, said: “Blue is a very serviceable colour and it’s a very cheap dye to make.”
He added: “And one practical consideration is it doesn’t show the dirt. You are travelling around throwing it around and putting it in and out of your pocket and it is likely to get dirty.”
As well as being the “greenest ever”, the government said the new passport will feature the “most secure printing and design techniques” with secure embedded technologies and a “super-strength” polycarbonate date page.