Home Office has 'no plans' to bring back old British passports after Brexit vote

British passports were navy blue before machine-readable EU passports were introduced in 1988

Katie Forster@katieforster
Friday 29 July 2016 19:13
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A close up of an old British passport
A close up of an old British passport

The Home Office has said there are “no immediate plans” to reintroduce navy blue non-EU British passports following the Brexit vote, despite the wishes of some Leave voters.

In parliament, pro-Brexit Conservative MP Michael Fabricant asked Home Secretary Amber Rudd if she would bring back the documents, which were last used in 1988.

He asked Ms Rudd whether she would “take steps to introduce a new passport with a navy blue cover for the UK following the exit of the UK from the EU”.

But Home Office minister Robert Goodwill replied: “There are no immediate plans for changes to the format or colour of the UK passport.

“Parliament will be informed of any changes to the passport following UK withdrawal from the European Union.”

As part of the EU referendum campaign in June, Ukip leader Nigel Farage called for the reintroduction of British passports.

Brandishing his passport at an ITV referendum event, he said: “This should be a British passport; it says ‘European Union’ on it.

“I think to make this country safer, we need to get back British passports, so that we can check anybody else coming into this country.”

The blue passports were introduced in 1921, but in 1988 they were replaced by the burgundy machine-readable documents in the European Union style format.

The Home Office indicated it is not yet able to say if the UK passport might change when – or, perhaps, if – Britain does indeed leave the EU.

In the meantime, Brexiteers who want to make a political statement at the airport can buy a non-EU British passport cover online for £17.95.

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