UK Impact

MADE IN EUROPE: Anger as Britain’s blue passports could come from France or Germany

BLUE passports – a defiant and defining symbol of post-Brexit Britain’s regained independence from Brussels – could be made in France or Germany, it has emerged.


British passports could be made in France after Brexit

The traditional dark blue travel document was embossed with the proud lion and unicorn crest of the Royal Arms but went out of circulation almost 30 years ago when it was replaced with the smaller burgundy passport used by EU members states.

Campaigners have called for the original passport’s reintroduction post-Brexit but they have been dismayed to find it could be designed and made by a European company after two foreign firms made the shortlist for the £490m contract.

Campaigner want a return to the traditional blue British passport

Insiders say the companies, believed to be French and German, will battle it out with the British private security company De La Rue to win the contract to produce six million passports a year.

Brexit-backing MPs are said to be furious at the possibility the contract may be won by a company based in the EU.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen complained about the appearance of European firms on the shortlist.


Britain started issuing Burgundy EU passports in 1988

It would be ludicrous if our passports were made in Europe

Andrew Brigden

He told the Sunday Times: “While I want to see the Government achieving the best value for money, it would be ludicrous if our passports were made in Europe.

“It is crazy to think they could be made in Europe but ironically because we are in the EU these contracts need to go out for open tender.

“When we leave the EU we will be able to decide and give contracts to British companies and workers if we see fit.”

Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, the chairman of Parliament’s Flags and Heraldry Committee, argued the contract should be awarded to a UK company.

He said: ”I want to see the new British passport manufactured in Britain in a British factory employing British people because if it is not it rather defeats the objective of upholding British identity.”

The Home Office is expected to announce the winner of the contract before Christmas.

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