Outlook cloudy for British passports

Britain's unpredictable weather is being deployed in images used as a security measure to help protect the next generation of UK passports from forgers.

Meteorological symbols depicting "typical British weather" are depicted, but the outlook is predominantly cloudy, with just four of the 28 pages forecasting sun. A Passport Office spokesman said the variable weather conditions would be more difficult to copy than those for a stable climate.

Sundials, narrowboats and rural scenes also appear in the "universally trusted document", the Identity and Passport Service said.

The makeover is part of a £400m 10-year contract with De La Rue, which will start producing the passports in October.

The 10-year adult passport, which will cost £77.50, uses complex images to help prevent fraud. The holder's identity pages have been moved to the front of the book to reduce the time taken to pass through borders and bring the UK passport in line with others from Europe and the US. There are now two photographs of the individual.

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