Blue British passports could be made in Germany, fears MP Mark Pritchard
An MP has voiced concerns that the proposed new blue passports for when Britain leaves the EU could actually be made in Germany.
Immigration minister Brandon Lewis announced that British passports would revert to their traditional blue and gold design after Brexit.
But Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, called for a parliamentary debate about whether the Government should adopt a "buy British" policy after hearing that the new passports could be made abroad.
Mr Pritchard said the Government was at the moment considering tenders to produce the new passports, and said he was concerned that a German company could potentially get the contract.
"The decision will be made in the next few weeks," he said.
"I think British passports should be made in Britain, not Germany. I hope British companies who have tendered for the work will be successful."
Many mourned the passing of the blue passports when they were replaced with a burgundy design in 1988 to bring us into line with the rest of what was then the European Community.
However, once the UK has left the European Union, passports will no longer be required to conform to EU standards, and Mr Lewis announced a return of the navy blue design as a symbol of national identity.
He said the new blue passports will also be one of the most secure travel documents in the world with new features to protect against fraud and forgery.
The current paper-based picture page on the burgundy passports will be replaced with a new, super-strength plastic polycarbonate material that will be more difficult to alter.
During a session in the Commons on Thursday, Mr Pritchard asked Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom if it might be possible to have a debate on how best to support British companies.
He asked: "Does the Leader of the House share my concern that the new British passport from 2019, could be designed and printed in Germany—made in Berlin rather than made in Britain?
"Can we have a debate on Made in Britain?"
Mrs Leadsom replied: "We all support the UK’s stance as a global free-trading nation, but, at the same time, we recognise that Britain has a huge amount to offer in terms of our manufacturing, our food and drink and all manner of services that we provide to the world, and we can compete on a level playing field."
The new blue passports will be issued from October 2019 to those renewing or applying for a new passport.
British passport holders do not need to do anything ahead of their current passport renewal date.
Mr Lewis said: "Leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world."