UK to Get Blue Passports Back

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Do you prefer the current maroon passport or the old blue passport?

In December it was announced that British citizens will get the old blue UK passports back, beginning in 2019, as a result of Brexit.


Maroon Vs. Blue

Maroon passports were mandated by the European Union government in 1981, however the UK, which had used blue passports for decades, fought the change for a few years, only introducing the maroon passport in 1988. For reasons that only the British can know, this was very offensive to some people and the decision to go maroon was quite controversial. The UK government fought against additional changes requested by the EU in the 21st century, which would have brought the UK passport more in line with other EU passports: the EU wanted to replace the Queen’s crest with the EU’s symbol.

The change back to blue has proven equally controversial, with social media outrage expressed by both sides of this inane argument over a colour. The colour of the passport is being taken as a symbol for Brexit, with the “Leave” side celebrating the “triggering” of the “remoaners” and the “Remain” side chastising the “Leave” side for celebrating the change of colour as some kind of nationalist victory. The whole thing is insane. Don’t believe me? Check out Twitter.

As Canadians, we find it hard to understand what the big deal is. It’s a passport. People should calm down.

Of course, the real reason people are happy or upset is because they view the colour change as the symbol of Brexit and are using it as a proxy to express themselves about this major change.


No Difference

The changes being made to the UK passport appear to be cosmetic/aesthetic only. Though the UK immigration minister has claimed the new blue passport will be feature new security features, the current UK passport is already one of the hardest to copy in the world. Whatever new security features will be added to the new blue passport would likely have been added to an updated passport regardless of cover. Though the UK is leaving the European Union, it is still a partner to international agreements with numerous countries pledging to maintain the security of its travel documents. The colour of the passport has nothing to do with security features in the current passport or in future passports.

There are some concerns that the blue colour will cause UK visitors to Europe to have to wait longer in lines, or queues if you prefer. But it’s hard to see how the colour of the passport will impact travel times when heading to Europe instead of, um, the Brexit. Just as with the controversy over the colour, the fears about its use in the future are really about Brexit itself, and not the colour of the passport.

Regardless of the colour, Immigroup remain your Canadian UK passport experts.


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