Ministers to bring back 'iconic' blue passports just months after Brexit

Posted On: 
22nd December 2017

Ministers will scrap the burgundy passports of the EU and revert to the old dark blue design just months after Brexit, it has been announced.

Tory MP Michael Fabricant said he was “delighted” by the news
PA Images

In a victory for some Brexit supporters, Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said the “iconic” passports would make a comeback “because we recognise the strong attachment people had to it”.

The move reverses a decades-old decision when the UK became the last EU state to adopt the dark red passports in 1988. They replaced the blue model first introduced in 1920.

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New passports will still be burgundy for five months after Brexit while the existing design contract runs out - but they will not carry EU insignia.

Then, from October 2019, they will be issued in dark blue. And in a break with current rules, Brits will be allowed to change their passport even if their burgundy model is still in date.

Mr Lewis told The Sun: “I recognise that for many people who voted in that referendum, they want to see things that are different.

“One of the most iconic things about being British is having a British passport.

“So from the first day we leave, new passports will look different and within five months they will be very different, because they will be dark blue again.”

He added: “We wanted to return to the dark blue passport because we recognise the strong attachment people had to it”.

Tory MP Michael Fabricant said he was “delighted” by the news.

"I told De La Rue, who make our passports, when I met them some months ago that I want one as soon it becomes available," he said.