AS presciently predicted by EWN in the run-up to the Brexit referendum, the issue of what becomes of the contemporary British passport following the vote in favour of leaving the European Union has finally been raised in parliament, with the situation unlikely to please self-described patriots in favour of abandoning the bureaucratic burgundy imposed by the EU.
Conservative MP for Lichfield and ardent Brexit-backer Michael Fabricant submitted a written parliamentary question to new Home Office chief Amber Rudd, who campaigned vigorously for the Remain camp, asking whether she would “take steps to introduce a new passport with a navy blue cover for the UK following the exit of the UK from the EU”.
Traditionalists harking for a return to the old pre-1988 ‘blue’ passports will have been disappointed with her reply, which succinctly read:
“There are no immediate plans for changes to the format or colour of the UK passport. Parliament will be informed of any changes to the passport following UK withdrawal from the European Union.”
The answer will come as a blow to UKIP supporters who loudly cheered each time Nigel Farage contemptuously whipped out his burgundy document as a symbolic manifestation of Brussels repression at almost every stop of his crisscrossing campaign tour.
With more than 50 million British passports in circulation, change would come at a huge financial and bureaucratic cost for a government with enough headaches on its plate to last several terms in office.
With Article 50 yet to be invoked and negotiations expected to take at least two years, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the circumstances will be when the UK finally gets around to scratching out the EU logo and issuing countless millions of new ID’s.
By that point Scotland may well be designing its own new passport for freshly independent citizens, and biometric technology will have covered potentially terrifying new ground.
Needless to say, when the time comes there will likely be a huge public campaign and online ‘referendum’ to determine what colours, historic characters, symbols and designs will dominate our travelling lives for years to come.