British passports to return to "iconic" blue after Brexit

The traditional blue British passport will make a return after Brexit in a move to reclaim our ‘national identity

The traditional blue British passport will make a return after Brexit in a move to reclaim our ‘national identity

There is no Brussels regulation which states that EU countries' passports have to be a certain colour, simply a legally non-binding European Council resolution from 1981 which recommends burgundy red.

New blue and gold passports will be issued from October 2019, when the new passport contract begins, to those renewing or applying for a new passport.

The Government announced on Friday plans to ditch the EU burgundy cover in favour of a return to the old blue-coloured passports once Britain leaves the union.

The contest, which garnered more than 200 entries, was won by Scottish graphic designer Ian Macfarlane, with a design featuring a cover that transitions between the burgundy of the current United Kingdom passport and the dark blue of the old, pre-EU British passport.

Once Britain leaves the European Union on March 29 2019 existing passports will gradually be phased out and the new traditional colour passport will gradually be brought back in.

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Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage responded to the announcement by tweeting "Happy Brexmas!"

While the blue passport will hold nostalgic value for some it's thought that anyone under the age of 45 would never have been in possession of a blue passport. "Now we've got them back!"

According to Passport Index, 76 countries have blue passports, including the U.S.

Several Caribbean countries also have blue passports, including Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The new passports will have a raft of new and updated security features and technologies to protect against fraud and forgery.

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Lewis said: "Leaving the European Union gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world".

"There is no need for British passport holders to do anything ahead of their passport renewal date", added the Home Office.

Earlier, Mr Verhofstadt had dismissed Theresa May's claims that the new blue passport is an expression of post-Brexit "independence and sovereignty", as Britain could have chosen to switch colour while remaining in the EU.

The blue passports will be issued later the same year, after a new contract for their production is negotiated.

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