Boris Johnson unveils ‘iconic’ Brexit blue passport design
Boris Johnson last night released a photograph of himself posing with new blue post-Brexit British passport.
The colour of Britain’s passports became a hot topic in the wake of the 2016 referendum, with supporters backing a return to the old design, not seen since the 1980s, as a way of affirming British sovereignty.
Critics highlighted the fact that blue passports could have been issued without the EU’s permission before Brexit.
Downing Street said the first batch of new passports would be issued next month, although the standard burgundy version will be available – just without any references to the EU.
In addition to the colour change, the new design features the floral emblems of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the back.
In a statement, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Leaving the European Union gave us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path in the world.
“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.”
Downing Street said the new version offers “the latest and most secure printing and design techniques”, offering better protection against identity theft and fraud as it will be even harder to forge.
Standard passports will continue to contain 34 pages. Frequent traveller ‘Jumbo’ passports will now contain 54 pages.
Those with valid, burgundy passports can continue to use their passport for travel until it expires.