Brexit blue passports will be rolled out as early as March

An example of the blue passport to be rolled out in 2021. Photograph: Gemalto

An example of the blue passport to be rolled out in 2021. Photograph: Gemalto

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New blue passports to mark Brexit will be rolled out across the UK from March, the Home Office has confirmed.

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Immigration minister Brandon Lewis claimed that the blue passports will "symbolise our national identity" and will be "one of the most secure travel documents in the world, with a raft of new security measures to protect against fraud and forgery".

The new coloured documents could be ready as early as March, but the Home Office plans to use up stock of the burgundy documents until then.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "There will be a mixture of blue and burgundy passports issued over a period of months, and we expect all new passports to be blue by the middle of the year.

MORE: Pro-Brexit newspaper accidentally publishes picture of blue passport with Monty Python reference

"As well as using up the existing stock of burgundy passports, the printing presses all need to be tweaked to make blue covers, which needs to be done in stages, otherwise the printing process would grind to a halt."

Last year the government phased out the words "European Union" from existing burgundy passports despite Brexit not taking place until earlier this year.

The decision to move to blue passports was marred with controversy after it was revealed a French business would produce the new design.

It meant the British business, which previously produced the burgundy passports, had to cut 250 jobs.

The New European has launched a passport cover for those that will cover up the blue passports and proudly show Remainers that they didn't back Brexit.

They are free with every 13-week subscription to the newspaper.

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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.

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