UK passports Brexit

The UK’s new blue passports will be made in France

The new passports were being used as a symbol of Brexit, but Brexit supporters aren't happy

The contract to make the UK's new blue passports has reportedly been won by a French firm.

What it means: The passports have become a symbol of Britain 'taking back control' after Brexit. Passports in the UK were navy blue until 1988 when they changed to burgundy to match others in the EU – incidentally, the burgundy passports aren't obligatory for EU members, but after the Brexit vote it was announced they would return to the original colours.

But the boss of the current passport's manufacturers told the BBC they'd lost out on the contract to a French company, Gemalto.

He said: "We have heard ministers happy to come on and talk about the new blue passport and the fact that it is an icon of British identity. But now this icon of British identity is going to be manufactured in France.

The Home Office (which is responsible for issuing passports) said there is nothing that says the passports have to be made by a British company, and the French company has said they'll make them for £50m less than the existing manufacturers.

This is about competition – being on an 'open market' means the people who can make things at the highest quality, with the best value-for-money, are likely to win wherever they are based. But it's also about attitudes to international trade. Take the US, for example. Donald Trump has the opposite stance. It's called a 'protectionist' attitude – that means choosing American businesses before foreign ones, and charging 'tariffs' on things imported from abroad.

Learn more about the different attitudes to trade

Read the full story (BBC News)

Recent articles

Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?