Last year it was celebrated that the iconic blue British passports will be returning to British citizens following the UK’s withdrawal from Europe.
However, the Home Office is left outraged following the announcement that this very British document will not be made on British soil.
The security company Gemalto, based in Paris has won manufacturing rights over the UK company De La Rue. This decision is not one that has gone down well, with the blue passport said to symbolise British independence.
Citizens applying for a new British passport from October 2019 will be issued with the blue document. The burgundy passports were first issued in 1998.
All passports will continue to be personalised with the holder’s details in the United Kingdom
According to The Sun, the French company has won the tender to make the blue passports and have signed a deal worth £490 million.
De La Rue, the paper making company based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, first started making British passports in 1915.
A spokeswoman for the Home Office commented: “We are running a fair and open competition to ensure that the new contract delivers a high quality and secure product and offers the best value for money for customers.
“All passports will continue to be personalised with the holder’s details in the United Kingdom, meaning that no personal data will leave the UK.”
The iconic blue passports will now be made in France
The spokesperson went on to add that British passports do not need to be made on UK Soil.
In fact, “a proportion of blank passport books are currently manufactured overseas, and there are no security or operational reasons why this would not continue,” they explained.
Before the announcement was made, the current passport manufacturing country, De La Rue released the statement: “If these reports are true that the contract to manufacture the British passport will be awarded to a French company we would be hugely disappointed and deeply concerned that this shows a serious lack of commitment to British business from the UK government.”
Although one of the most iconic passports, the British passport is not the most powerful in the world with this title usually dominated by European countries.
De La Rue have lost the bid to make the passports
South Korea and Singapore now hold the title of the worlds most powerful passport
However, Germany, which previous blagged the top spot was outranked this year by Asia.
According to the Passport Index, South Korea and Singapore now hold the title of the worlds most powerful passport with a via free-score of 162.
Germany has been shafted into second place alongside Japan taking the title of the second most powerful passport in the world.
The UK passport comes in fourth place alongside six other European countries with a visa ranking of 159.