As we prepare to leave the EU there will be significant changes being made to the way the British passport system Is operated. British citizens whose passports were issued before October 2009 are being urged to renew their documents as soon as they can if they plan to travel in the Schengen Area after Brexit on March 29th. However they will not be issued the new blue passports just yet, these will become available in the late 2019, for now burgundy passports are still being produced.
After Brexit the UK passport will no longer be required to conform to the EU standards. So in a move to symbolise their national identity, the UK has decided to change from the standard burgundy to a blue and gold design.
The new blue passport will be one of the most secure travel documents in the world, with new and updated security features and technologies to protect against fraud and forgery. For example, the current paper-based picture page will be replaced with a new, super-strength plastic polycarbonate material that will be more difficult to alter.
Immigration Minister Brandon 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.
That is why I am delighted to announce that the British passport will be returning to the iconic blue and gold design after we have left the European Union in 2019.
It will also be one of the most secure travel documents in the world, with a raft of new security measures to protect against fraud and forgery.”
To save the taxpayer money, the newly designed passports will be introduced in a phased approach.
The Home Office has also warned UK citizens that they would become third country nationals in the event there is no Brexit deal making them subject to new rules in the Schengen Border Code. New rules include passports having been issued within the last 10 years and have at least three months remaining under regulations.
The Home Office on Thursday warned citizens to “consider renewing your passport soon to avoid any delay, as the passport issuing service can get busy, especially in the spring.”
British authorities will also scrap a policy of crediting new passports with the remaining validity on their outgoing document “From the beginning of September 2018 extra validity is no longer added to passports,” the notice said. “We have made this change to follow recommendations set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and to help provide clarity about passport validity in the Schengen area in the future.”
Passport renewals between late 2019 and early 2020 would be automatically issued with either a blue or burgundy British passport, the Home Office added.