LONDON—Britain is set to make its first post-Brexit blue passport in France, the current British manufacturer said on Thursday March 22.
During often bitter campaigning during the June 2016 referendum on whether to leave the EU, which Britain joined in 1973, some Brexit supporters called for a return of the dark blue passports, issued from 1920 to 1988.
The current burgundy document is made by British firm De La Rue in northern England.
“I’m going to have to go and face those workers, look them in the whites of the eyes and try and explain to them why the British government thinks it’s a sensible decision to buy French passports not British passports,” De la Rue boss Martin Sutherland told BBC radio.
According to the BBC, the Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto is expected to win the £490m contract.
The Home Office said it was running a fair and open competition to make sure the end result is a high quality and secure product offering best value for money to customers.
“We do not require passports to be manufactured in the UK,” said a spokeswoman. “A proportion of blank passport books are currently manufactured overseas, and there are no security or operational reasons why this would not continue.”
By Costas Pitas and Estelle Shirbon
The Epoch Times contributed to this report
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