We still have very little concrete idea of how leaving the European Union will affect us as UK citizens – but one thing that looks certain to change is how we travel. Most of us are used to having burgundy passports, which were introduced in the UK in 1988, but the colour of British passports could be about to change thanks to Brexit.
Our travel document could soon turn dark blue, under a £490m contract to redesign and produce a new version, The Guardian reported. British passports are redesigned every five years for security reasons, and the current contract expires in 2019, the year the UK is due to leave the EU after Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50.
Eurosceptic Conservative MPs consider the new contract an opportunity to dump the burgundy EU design and return to the blue of the past. “The restoration of our own British passport is a clear statement to the world that Britain is back,” Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell told the Press Association. He added that the “pink” European Union documents had been humiliating.
“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,” Rosindell added. “National identity matters and there is no better way of demonstrating this today than by bringing back this much-loved national symbol when travelling overseas.”
Conservative Michael Fabricant MP also said he hopes anyone who renews their passports after Brexit will receive a navy blue one.
However, the Home Office is yet to confirm that a decision has been made about a colour change under the new contract. “The UK passport is routinely redesigned every five years to guard against counterfeiting,” a spokesman said.
“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.”