UK to start issuing post-Brexit blue passports

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 22 2020 10:00 AM

A handout picture released on February 21, 2020 by the UK Home Office press office shows a model holding a new blue United Kingdom passport. Britain will issue blue passports next month for the first time in almost three decades following its departure from the European Union, the government said on Saturday. Stringer, UK Home Office, AFP

LONDON, United Kingdom - Britain will issue blue passports next month for the first time in almost three decades following its departure from the European Union, the government said on Saturday.

The new blue cover passports will be issued and delivered early next month, said the interior ministry, replacing the burgundy passports that were introduced in 1988.

They are ironically being made in Poland after the contract was controversially awarded to French multinational Thales.

"Leaving the European Union gave us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path in the world," said interior minister Priti Patel.

"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," she added.

The issue became another battleground of the Brexit war after the government announced in 2017 it would return to traditional blue passports "to restore national identity."

The loss of the blue cover was much lamented by some when it was replaced with a burgundy one in line with most other EU nations.

The color change is a return to the original appearance of the British passport, with the color first used in 1921.