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British passports go back to blue

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The cover of the UK passport will return to blue after the UK leaves the European Union, Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis confirmed.

New blue and gold passports will be issued from October 2019. They will be introduced in a phased approach, and will be issued as and when people renew their old passport or apply for a new one. This means UK citizens won’t have to pay to replace their existing passport (unless they want to).

After the UK leaves the EU, burgundy passports will continue to be issued but contain no reference to the European Union until the 2019 start date for the new passports.

The blue cover is a return to the original appearance of the British passport, with the colour first used in 1921. It remained the colour of choice until the UK joined the EU and the burgundy format colour was agreed and adopted.

For some time, nationalist groups fought against the change. For a time after the introduction of the burgundy passport, UKIP sold passport covers, with the words ‘British passport’, available in black, blue and pink until they were banned.

The new passports will have a raft of new and updated security features and technologies to protect against fraud and forgery. For example, the current paper-based picture page will be replaced with a new, super-strength plastic polycarbonate material that will be more difficult to alter.

Lewis said: “Leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world.”

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