Britain's post-EU passports to be made by Paris-based firm, Brexit supporters call it 'national humiliation'

Britain's new, blue, post-EU passports are set to be made by a Paris-based firm, reports said on Thursday, in what Brexit supporters called a 'national humiliation'.

AFP March 22, 2018 21:38:16 IST
Britain's post-EU passports to be made by Paris-based firm, Brexit supporters call it 'national humiliation'

London: Britain's new, blue, post-EU passports are set to be made by a Paris-based firm, reports said on Thursday, in what leading Brexit supporters called a "national humiliation".

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said the next contract to produce British passports would be awarded to Gemalto, while the head of UK manufacturer De La Rue said he had been told his company had lost out to the Franco-Dutch firm.

De La Rue boss Martin Sutherland said it was "disappointing and surprising" that "this icon of British identity" would be manufactured by a foreign company.

"We've had that confirmed to us by the Home Office," he told BBC radio in reference to Britain's interior ministry, though the government said the process had not concluded.

Sutherland said he wanted to invite British Prime Minister Theresa May to his factory and explain "why they think this is a sensible decision to offshore the manufacture of a British icon".

Britains postEU passports to be made by Parisbased firm Brexit supporters call it national humiliation

File image of the old British passport. Reuters

The Daily Telegraph said Gemalto undercut other bids by around £50 million (USD 70 million, 58 million euros).

Priti Patel, a figurehead of the pro-Brexit campaign in Britain's 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU, said: "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," the former cabinet minister told The Sun newspaper.

The return of blue British passports in place of standard burgundy European Union ones is seen as a hugely symbolic reclamation of UK sovereignty for those backing Britain's exit from the bloc.

UK passports had dark blue covers from 1921. But Britain switched to burgundy from 1988, in common with other passports of what was then the European Community.

Britain is set to leave the EU in March 2019. The new passport production contract starts in October 2019.

A spokesman for May's Downing Street office said: "We are still in the process of running a fair and open competition to ensure that the new contract delivers a high-quality product which offers the best value for money for the taxpayer."

Gemalto declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

The Best for Britain campaign group, which wants to keep the door to EU membership open, hit out at Brexit supporters unhappy at passports being produced by a foreign company.

"All these Brexiteers claim to be champions of global free trade until it doesn't work out for their interests — at which point they magically transform into angry isolationists who don't back British firms to compete around the world," a spokesman said.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Imperial's COVID-19 vaccine candidate begins early human testing on hundreds, including the elderly
World

Imperial's COVID-19 vaccine candidate begins early human testing on hundreds, including the elderly

WHO has said multiple vaccine approaches are necessary for COVID-19, considering success rates for vaccine development are around 10%.

UK Board 10th, 12th Result 2020 DECLARED Updates: Gaurav Saklani tops Class 10 with 98.20%, Beauty Vatsal tops Class 12
India

UK Board 10th, 12th Result 2020 DECLARED Updates: Gaurav Saklani tops Class 10 with 98.20%, Beauty Vatsal tops Class 12

UK Board 10th, 12th Result 2020 DECLARED Updates |This year, Class 12 pass percentage was recorded at 80.26% while Class 10 pass percent stands at 76.91%

UK Board result 2020 DECLARED: Uttarakhand Class 12 scores released on ubse.uk.gov.in; steps to check via SMS
India

UK Board result 2020 DECLARED: Uttarakhand Class 12 scores released on ubse.uk.gov.in; steps to check via SMS

UK Board result 2020 DECLARED: Around 1.35 lakh students appeared for the Class 12 board exams which were scheduled to be held in March but got postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic