Blue passports to be issued from next month to mark Brexit
PUBLISHED: 00:01 22 February 2020
For the first time in three decades blue passports will be issued to mark Britain’s departure from the European Union.
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The new-look documents, that were championed by Brexiteers, will replace the burgundy passports which were rolled out in 1988.
The contract to produce the passports was controversially awarded to French firm Thales, but the documents will continue to be personalised with the holder's details in the UK.
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The first new passports will be issued from the beginning of March, and the govenrment hope that by mid-2020 all new passports will be blue.
As well as the colour change, the back cover of the new passports will now feature embossed floral emblems of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Home secretary Priti Patel said that by returning to the "iconic" blue and gold design, the passports will "once again be entwined with our national identity".
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She said: "Leaving the European Union gave us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path in the world.
"By returning 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."
The new passports are said to be the greenest and most technologically advanced yet, with new and updated security features to keep personal data secure.
Blue passports were first used in 1921 and remained the colour of choice until the UK joined the EU (then the European Economic Community).
The colour then changed to burgundy, to harmonise designs across member states.
Burgundy passports can still be used for travel until they expire.
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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter