Brexit day has come and gone and the UK is now in the transition phase of negotiations with the EU. While it may not feel like anything has changed just yet, there may be an overhaul in how we travel after the transition period ends – not least with the introduction of the new British blue passports.
Why did Britain swap to a burgundy passport?
Blue passports were introduced to Britain in 1921, but they were gradually phased out from 1988, when the European Economic Community (EEC) decided members should have a common format.
The harmonising of designs was meant to make life easier for travellers, as well as border officials.
The EU did not force the colour change on Britain – the Nation decided to ditch the blue passport.
And the other major change was adding the words ‘European Union’ to the very top of the British passport.
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Why is Britain returning to the blue passport?
After Brexit had been declared, the Government announced in December 2017 that the blue passport would return.
The promise of the blue and gold design was a rallying point for Brexiteers
After leaving the EU, the burgundy design is being scrapped and replaced with the traditional British blue.
The British Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The passport will once again be entwined with our national identity”.
When can I get a blue passport?
While normally passports don’t expire for 10 years, any British citizen will be able to request a new blue passport even if your passport has years left on it.
Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said: “One of the most iconic things about being British is having a British passport.
“So from the first day we leave, new passports will look different and within five months they will be very different, because they will be dark blue again.
“We wanted to return to the dark blue passport because we recognise the string attachment people had to it”.
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The Government website says the new blue passport design is now ready and will be issued shortly.
An official statement said: “Blue passports will be phased in over a number of months.
“If you renew your passport during this initial period, you may be issued with either a blue or a burgundy British passport.
“You will not be able to choose whether you get a burgundy or a blue passport.
“All styles of passport will be equally valid for travel.”
From mid-2020, all British passports issued will be blue.
If you’re set on getting your hands on one- you might want to wait until the period of uncertainty is over, as you may be sent a burgundy passport instead for now.
You won’t be able to state a preference in colour.
But we can expect to get our hands on one towards the end of this year.
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