By Dolline Mukui.
A deal is in the works for blue post-Brexit passports to be manufactured in France.
Gemalto, a franco-dutch firm will take on the £490m contract and according to the Home Office it will save taxpayers around £120m.
This is not Britain’s first blue passport; the first one was issued in the 1920’s whilst the burgundy passport was only issued in 1988. Some may say that Brexit simply represents the return of Britain to its own history and roots and so there needs to be a patriotic stance to signify this change. Brexiteers and Tory ministers have called for the blue comeback and that is what they are going to get. The blue and gold passports are therefore meant to convey Britain claim to their sovereignty.
Our current burgundy passports are issued by the British company De La Rue in Gateshead.
The chief executive of De La Rue has recently said ‘‘I’m going to have to go and face those workers, look at them in the whites of their eyes and try and explain to them why the British government thinks it’s a sensible decision to buy French passports not British passports.”
He also added “I would actually like to invite Theresa May or Amber Rudd to come to my factory and explain to my dedicated workforce why they think this is a sensible decision to offshore the manufacture of a British icon.”
If the passport is intended to translate that British people are powerful and taking control over their country without interference, then should Theresa May not make decisions that would affirm that to British nationals? Simply stating that it’s saving taxpayers money, although it may be the truth, is deflects addressing the real problem people are considering. Is it not a contradiction at its very core to leave the EU yet become dependent on a service by a EU country that speaks to the very image of our ‘independence’.
Former cabinet minister, Priti Patel seems to agree with those who are shocked by the decision. She told The Sun “This should be a moment that we should be celebrating. The return of our iconic blue passport will re-establish the British identity…But to be putting the job in the hands of the French is simply astonishing. It is a national humiliation.”
A spokeswoman for the Home Office stated that “We are running a fair and open competition to ensure that the new contract delivers a high quality and secure product and offers the best value for money for customers.
She added “All passports will continue to be personalised with the holder’s details in the United Kingdom, meaning that no personal data will leave the UK.”
We have already seen a number of decisions that are questionable leading up to Brexit but we shouldn’t be shocked when more trade deals are presented.
The new passports will be issued from October 2019.
Dolline recently graduated with an MA in Broadcast Journalism. She is a ITV Breaking into News finalist whereby she reported on the Manchester Arena attack. Currently she is a voluntary co-host/contributor on show called a ‘Chat with Elle Celeste’. She also has a blog, where she talks about her life and travels.