UK passports could return to blue post-Brexit at a cost of £490 million
PUBLISHED: 09:45 03 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:37 05 April 2017
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Tory MPs give stamp of approval to return to the blue of 1980s Britain, claiming the "humiliation of having a pink European Union passport"
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The UK passport could turn dark blue again after Brexit under a £490 million contract to redesign and produce a new version of the document.
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.
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell made the strange claim that the burgundy passport had been a source of national “humiliation”.
He told the Press Association: “The restoration of our own British passport is a clear statement to the world that Britain is back!
“Our British identity was slowly but surely being submerged into an artificial European one that most Brits felt increasingly unhappy about.
“The humiliation of having a pink European Union passport will now soon be over and the United Kingdom nationals can once again feel pride and self-confidence in their own nationality when travelling, just as the Swiss and Americans can do.”
The current contract expires in 2019, the year the UK is set to leave the European Union after Theresa May began the formal two-year withdrawal process last week.
Fellow Tory Michael Fabricant said: “You keep your passport until it expires. If you renew after Brexit, I am hoping we’ll have new navy blue passports.”
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “Changing the colour of the passport is just another expense on an ever increasing list of the cost of Brexit.
“This is a completely superficial expenditure which could have been spent on our hospitals and our schools. And for what? All this does is put a £490 million smile on Nigel Farage’s face.”
The Home Office said no decision had been made about the colour of the passport under the new contract.
A spokesman said: “The UK passport is routinely redesigned every five years to guard against counterfeiting.
“We are launching the procurement process now to ensure there is sufficient time to produce and design UK passports from 2019 when the current contract ends.
“The timing of any potential changes to the passport after the UK has left the European Union has not been set.”
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