Blue British Passports Are Coming Back Next Month

By Holly Brockwell on at

Gammons everywhere are set to rejoice in March when the beloved British blue passport makes its return.

The old design existed from 1921 until 1988, at which point the member states of the EEC (European Economic Community – predecessor to the EU) decided (not demanded! It was a choice!) to have one design for everyone, because we're all a big family.

Now that the UK's made itself the black sheep, we can give our passports whatever features we want – except for free movement, because we've given that up in exchange for a different Pantone shade.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has been snapped posing smugly with "the iconic blue and gold design," which will "once again be entwined with our national identity," apparently.

To be clear, there is absolutely nothing either iconic nor identifying about a blue passport. Quoth the BBC:

"According to the Passport Index, 81 countries have blue passports, including Australia, the United States, Canada, India and Hong Kong.

Several Caribbean countries also favour them, including Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In Europe, people from Iceland, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina carry blue passports, while it is a popular colour in central and south America - including in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Other nations to have blue passports include Israel, Iraq, Syria and North Korea."


The supplier for the new passport design is Gemalto, which is owned by a French company called Thales Group. [BBC]

Main image adapted from this image by Dullhunk on Flickr Creative Commons. Yes, we know it's the Monty Python one, we did it on purpose.