British passports will return to having blue covers after Brexit, it has been confirmed.
The new design, which will no longer include the European Union insignia, will replace the burgundy cover that has been a feature of the UK passport since the 1980s once Britain leaves the EU in 2019.
Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis said the new passport will be the “most high-tech and secure we have ever seen”, making it more resistant to fraud and forgery.
A £490 million contract to redesign and produce a new version of the document was announced earlier this year.
The passport is routinely redesigned every five years and Eurosceptics view the new contract as a way to ditch the EU burgundy cover in favour of a return to the colour of the past.
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.
“That is why I am delighted to announce that the British passport will be returning to the iconic blue and gold design after we have left the European Union in 2019.
“It will also be one of the most secure travel documents in the world, with a raft of new security measures to protect against fraud and forgery.”
Burgundy passports will continue to be issued, although without the European Union markings, until the current supplier’s contract expires in October 2019.
The new blue and gold design will then be issued to people renewing or applying for a new passport.
Blue was first used for the cover of the British passport in 1921, but the design changed in 1988 after the UK joined the European Economic Community and burgundy was chosen as the common colour.
Among the new design features will be a new picture page made of a “super-strength plastic polycarbonate material that will be more difficult to alter”, the Home Office said.
British passport holders do not need to do anything until their renewal date.
Brandon Lewis, the immigration minister, failed to commit to making the new blue passports in the UK.
He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “At the moment our passport is made both here in the UK and some of them are made overseas, but all of the security measures are done here in the UK and for security reasons that final part, that personalisation, always will be.
“I can’t give you more detail on that at the moment because we are in the middle of a procurement process but we will be outlining the outcome of that pretty soon.”
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage tweeted after the announcement: “Happy Brexmas!”
He added: “In the 2016 referendum, we wanted our passports back. Now we’ve got them back!”
Conservative MP Anna Soubry, a Remain supporter, was sceptical on Twitter:
The cost of a standard first adult passport or renewal is currently £72.50, while passports for those under the age of 16 are £46.
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/22/british-passports-will-return-iconic-blue-cover-brexit-confirmed/