Starting next month, Brits will receive a new blue passport that critics say will mainly offer access to long lines at European airports. The new design means a return to the old colour from before 1988 when the United Kingdom, like other European countries, switched to a uniform burgundy-red passport that facilitates processing at the border and is better protected against counterfeiting.
According to the British government, the new passport is very advanced, including a hard page where personal data is stored digitally. According to the Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, in The Guardian, the passport is “a unique opportunity to restore our national identity”. This is remarkable because, according to The Times, the passport is made by the Dutch-French company Gemalto and manufactured in a factory in Poland. A British company that wanted to get the order of 310 million euros, sorry 260 million British pounds, turned out to be 50 million more expensive than the European competitor.
According to Edward McMillan-Scott, who sat in the European Parliament for a long time, the passport becomes a symbol for the attitude of the Conservatives: isolationist, ignorant and self-destructive. He points to the long queues that the British must already connect to at Schiphol. Because the passport is different, checking it at the border takes more time. A Brexiteer complained earlier this month on Twitter that he now had to stand in line at Schiphol: “This is not the Brexit I voted for.”