As social media goes up in arms about the 'new' British blue passport, here are three myths that need dispelling:
The EU doesn't mandate passport colours
This might come as a shock to some, but we could have had blue the entire time. However, the EU does 'recommend' burgundy red as well as the overall design style, and has done since 1981. Indeed, Croatia has a 'navy' passport - though is the only EU state to not have adopted the burgundy. The reason behind the Croatians colour is that they broke away from 'red' Communist Yugoslavia, and successive government's have preferred to steer clear of connotations to Communism.
We aren't paying '£500 million' for blue passports
Technically, the cost is a big fat zero. Her Majesty's Passport Office is largely funded by 'user fees' - ie; pay money and receive a passport in return. Your contribution doesn't go into a pool of money that can then be recirculated and spent elsewhere. Further, the cited '£500 million' isn't for the redesign, but is stipulated for printing an estimated 60 million passports over the next ten years.
The timing has nothing to do with Brexit.
Britain, and other EU states, redesign passports around every five years anyway. The actual timing of this redesign, therefore, has absolutely nothing to do with Brexit (though the change of colour is obviously symbolic.) Prinitng company De La Rue have had a private tender to produce UK passports for 10 years - and this is now up for renewal.
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