Britain’s blue passports could return by 2019 in '£500m redesign' following Brexit

Patrick Grafton-Green
Time to change? An old British passport and a burgundy UK passport in the European Union: PA

UK passports could turn dark blue again following Brexit after a £500 million redesign was reportedly ordered by Ministers.

Days after Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, beginning the formal process of leaving the EU, reports suggest a contract worth £490 million to redesign and produce a new version of the document has been put out for tender by the Home Office.

The current contract expires in 2019, the year the UK is set to leave the EU.

The passport is routinely redesigned every five years and Eurosceptics view the new contract as a way to ditch the EU burgundy cover in favour of a return to the colour of the past.

Tory MP Andrew Rosindell said the burgundy passport had been a "source of national humiliation".

He told the Sunday Express: "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."

Fellow Tory Michael Fabricant said: "You keep your passport until it expires. If you renew after Brexit, I am hoping we'll have new navy blue passports."

The Home Office said no decision had been made about the colour of the passport under the new contract.

A spokesman said: "The UK passport is routinely redesigned every five years to guard against counterfeiting.

"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 timing of any potential changes to the passport after the UK has left the European Union has not been set."

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