Back to blue: UK passports to ditch EU burgundy

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British passports will change to a blue and gold design after Brexit, Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis has announced.Once the UK has left the European Union, passports will no longer be required to conform to EU standards.

In a move to symbolise the UK’s national identity, the cover will be changing from the current burgundy colour to navy blue, which was the colour of the first UK passport to come in the form of a book in 1921.

The design was changed to burgundy when the UK joined the European Union.

The new blue passports will also be one of the most secure travel documents in the world with new features to protect against fraud and forgery.

The current paper-based picture page on the burgundy passports will be replaced with a new, super-strength plastic polycarbonate material that will be more difficult to alter.

Mr Lewis said: “Leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world.”

The new passports will be introduced in a phases, which will save the UK taxpayer money.

After Brexit, burgundy passports will still be issued but it won’t say European Union at the top or make reference to the EU anywhere within it.

However, a Conservative MP has expressed concerns that the British passports could still be made in the EU.

Mark Pritchard told the Commons that he understood the new UK passport could be “designed and printed” in Berlin, Germany from 2019.

The Wrekin MP, during business questions, called for a debate on the matter.

He said: “Does the Leader of the House share my concern that the new British passport from 2019, a black passport not a purple passport, could be designed and printed in Germany.

“Made in Berlin, rather than made in Britain.”

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said: “What I can say to him is that we all support the UK’s stance as a global free trading nation.

“At the same time we recognise that Britain has a huge amount to offer in terms of our manufacturing, our food, drink and all manner of services that we provide to the world.

“We can compete on a level playing field.”

The new blue passports will be issued from October 2019 to those renewing or applying for a new passport.

British passport holders don’t need to do anything ahead of their current passport renewal date.

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