The maroon passport currently held by British citizens will revert back to its original dark blue colour as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, the Home Office has confirmed.
The classic dark blue design, which was replaced by burgundy-coloured passports in 1988 to comply with EU policy of a single European passport, could be re-introduced as soon as 2019, with a range of contractors currently bidding for its production.
In 2007, the European Union sought to further dilute the passport’s individuality by insisting that the words “Her Britannic Majesty,” were removed from the first page.
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, who is chairman of the Parliamentary Flags and Heraldry Committee said: “It’s a matter of identity. Having the pink European passports has been a source of humiliation. It merged us into one European identity, which isn’t what we are.”
“The old dark blue design was a distinct, clear and bold statement of what it means to be British, which is just what our citizens need as they travel abroad after Brexit,” he continued.
The current contract with passport manufacturers De La Rue expires with the British government in 2019, with the Home Office now accepting proposals from companies to manage £490 million redesign project. Other priorities for the government’s new design will include incorporating new mechanisms to combat identity fraud.
Responding to the news, a Home Office spokesperson said: “We are launching the procurement process now to ensure there is sufficient time to produce and design UK passports from 2019 when the current contract ends.”
The issue of the British passport was one frequently mentioned by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who pointed out that as well as having the words ‘European Union’ on the front, it also guarantees British citizenship rights for all 500 million EU citizens.