LONDON: The blue passports will be issued from next month to mark Britain’s exit from the EU. The government has hailed the document as the most technologically advanced and the ‘greenest ever’, are produced in France.
It is the first time in almost three decades that blue passports will be used, replacing the standard-issue burgundy passports that were rolled out in 1988, the Independent has reported.
The new design, which has been championed by Brexiteers, will be issued from March, with all new passports set to be blue by mid-2020. In addition to the colour change, the new passports will also have floral emblems of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales embossed on the back cover.
Home secretary Priti Patel claimed that the return to the “iconic” blue and gold design will mean that passports will “once again be entwined with our national identity”. She added: “Leaving the European Union gave us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path in the world.”
The contract to make the passports was controversially given to French firm Thales, but they will be personalised with the holder’s details in the UK. According to the Home Office, the new documents are allegedly the greenest and most technologically advanced yet, with features designed to keep personal data secure.
Blue passports were first introduced in 1921 and remained in use until the UK joined the EU, known at the time as the European Economic Community. The UK then changed to burgundy, as passport designs were harmonised across the bloc. Burgundy passports will still be valid until their expiration date.