Post-Brexit UK passports to be printed in France after all

Love ‘em or loathe ‘em there’s no escaping potholes | Reader’s Letter

Our new blue British passports will definitely be made in France, now United Kingdom firm De La Rue has chose to drop their appeal.

It said that having considered all options it would not appeal the decision, which the British government said followed a "rigorous, fair and open competition".

Shares in De La Rue dropped 4% as it also warned over profits for the second time in a month, blaming the £4 million in bid costs for the contract.

De La Rue has held the contract to manufacture British passports since 2009.

The new blue passport, which was replaced by the European Union burgundy in the late 1980s, will be reintroduced from October next year.

But reports that Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto had won the tender to produce the new passport was criticised by some politicians and newspapers as unpatriotic, and De La Rue had said it would challenge the decision.

He called the award of the deal to Gemalto "surprising and disappointing" and questioned "why the British government isn't supporting British industry".

"Workers will feel let down that the company is not prepared to fight the government's decision to ship the production of the new blue passport overseas", Unite national officer Louisa Bull said.




"Theresa May needs to wake up to the anger her government's short sighted job destroying decision has generated and intervene to back United Kingdom passport workers by ensuring Britain's blue passports are made in the United Kingdom".

De La Rue's Mr Sutherland had initially said the decision to award the contract to Gemalto was "shocking" and pledged to appeal.

De La Rue is headquartered in Basingstoke and has sites in Gateshead, Westhoughton, Debden, Overton and Bathford.

The company said its underlying operating profit for the year to the end of March would be in the low to mid £60sm range, it said.

"At this early stage of the new financial year, the group is cautious about the out-turn for the full year, however it starts off with a satisfactory order book", it added.

Britain said the contract award would see Gemalto add 70 more jobs to its United Kingdom workforce.

The firm - which is being acquired by French defence group Thales - has a number of sites in the United Kingdom, including factories in Heywood and Fareham.

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