United Kingdom passport firm demands Theresa May explain 'moving manufacture to France'

by Abel Hampton March 25, 2018, 1:39
United Kingdom passport firm demands Theresa May explain 'moving manufacture to France'

Britain's post-Brexit blue passport is set to be made by a Franco-Dutch firm, according to reports.

Theresa May has been urged to visit the factory of a United Kingdom security firm and explain why a French company is taking over their contract to make British passports.

Shares in De La Rue, which earlier this week warned that profits would come in the bottom of expectations, were down almost 6% on the London Stock Exchange following the news.

The British company making the UK's burgundy passports for the last decade has been undercut by a French firm in the competition to manufacture the new one from October 2019, the company's chief executive said on Thursday.

"If the best thing the Government can come up with about Brexit is that we can change the colour of our passports to me that just speaks about how much chaos there is".

"Now this icon of British identity is going to be manufactured in France".

Tory MP Sir Bill Cash said awarding the contract to an EU-based company would be completely wrong and unnecessary.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in February in Parliament that after Brexit, her country would go back to the blue and gold passports, something the UK wants for itself and not what the European Union prefers, reported the Guardian.

The Liberal Democrat's Brexit spokesman, Tom Brake, said: "The blue passport saga is turning into a farce".

"I don't disagree with [negotiators] trying to sort out all the issues that the European Union think are relevant but it would be quite nice if we sorted out some of the issues that we thought were relevant at the same time".

The head of pro-Europe campaign group Best For Britain, Eloise Todd, said: "The new the pro-Brexit blue passports were supposed to be a statement of intent and now we find out they are to be made by the French or the Dutch".

Former Cabinet minister Priti Patel's called it a "national humiliation".

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said the procurement process had not been finalised. "A proportion of blank passport books are now manufactured overseas, and there are no security or operational reasons why this would not continue".

"The UK is taking a leading role in the global fight against corruption, including cracking down on the use of shell companies to launder dirty money by buying up some of London's prime real estate", Andrew Griffiths, a junior business minister said in a statement.

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