Brits will regain the iconic blue passports which were such an important national symbol prior to their replacement by burgundy ‘European Union’ documents in the 1980s.
An update of the ‘Old Blue’ design, famous the world over from 1920 until the imposition of the current EU branding, will be available from October 2018.
“I recognise that for many people who voted in that referendum, they want to see things that are different,” said Brandon Lewis, the Minister of State for Immigration.
“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”.
— LBC (@LBC) December 22, 2017
“I remember in 1988 when they abolished the British passport, they didn’t just change the colour of it, they put two words at the top of it: ‘European Union’,” recalled Brexit campaign leader Nigel Farage in an interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari.
“And that said to me thirty years ago that our political class were basically selling out our country, our nationality, our individuality — and so I fought them!”
Asked if the move had been the catalyst for the former metals trader entering the political arena, Farage said his feelings about the European “in the late ’80s, early ’90s were building over a period of years, but to me, what country in the world would get rid of its passport?
“You can’t be a nation unless you have those symbols, so in the referendum, every single interview I did — literally every single one — I held up this [European Union] passport.”
“I was told that I was being a narrow-minded nationalist, and what was the matter, there was a new European identity that we should all embrace — well, to hell with that!” he grinned.
The UKIP MEP had long used his own EU passport as a prop on the campaign trail, telling audience how its symbolised Britain’s loss of independence and, in particular, its loss of control over immigration — since any of the hundreds of millions of people who hold EU passports have essentially the same right to enter and leave the United Kingdom as British citizens.
He told Ferrari: “To be honest with you, the words matter more than the colour. Taking off the words ‘European Union’ matters more than the colour.
“But the colour, going back to that navy blue, what it says is that normal service is being resumed — we’re becoming a proper country again.
“That’s what Brexit is going to bring us, and frankly, I couldn’t be happier this morning.”