Reports Post-Brexit Blue Passports To Be Made In Europe
Mar 25, 2018, 01:41
A handout photograph shows the original "blue" British passport, which was subsequently replaced by the burgundy EU British passport, supplied by the United Kingdom government in London, Thomson Reuters LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is set to make its first post-Brexit blue passport, a cherished symbol of independence for many who backed leaving the bloc, in EU member France, the chief executive of passport-making company De La Rue said on Thursday.
The Daily Telegraph says a Franco-Dutch firm is close to being awarded the contract to print the documents - which many see as a symbol of the UK's regained independence.
Meanwhile, former global development secretary Priti Patel raged it would be a national humiliation.
So the news that it will be a French company rather than a British one producing them has left emotions running high.
Martin Sutherland, chief executive of De La Rue, described the move as "disappointing and surprising" and said that...
"We've had that confirmed to us by the Home Office", he told BBC radio in reference to Britain's interior ministry, though the government said the process had not concluded.
"But to be putting the job in the hands of the French is simply astonishing".
The Best for Britain campaign group, which wants to keep the door to European Union membership open, hit out at Brexit supporters unhappy at passports being produced by a foreign company.
"If the best thing the Government can come up with about Brexit is that we can change the colour of our passports to me that just speaks about how much chaos there is".
Meanwhile the Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake summed up the situation like this: "The blue passport saga is turning into a farce".
Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said the procurement process had not been finalised.
A prominent pro-leave campaigner, Nigel Farage, said that by going back to the blue colour it showed that "normal service has been resumed and we can be a proper country again". A proportion of passports have been made overseas since then with up to 20 percent of blank passport books now produced in Europe with no security or operational concerns.
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