Post-Brexit UK passports to be printed in Poland

Britain’s new post-Brexit passports will be printed in Poland and will be dark blue instead of the EU’s burgundy red, while the new printing company boasts that the documents will be a true biometric masterpiece.

In an unexpected move, the UK government awarded the contract for its new passport production to a French-Dutch company, Gemalto, which won the £260 million ($326 million) tender to print the documents, seen as a symbol of Britain regaining its national identity after breaking with the European Union. The company has factory lines at various locations, including a large and innovative factory in Tczew, Poland, which is rumored to be the one where the UK passports will be produced in autumn.

The printing company claims it will make the new British passport one of the most advanced biometric documents to date, incorporating new security features and innovative materials.

For instance, the holder’s personal data will be duplicated on an electronic microprocessor embedded in the passport, protected by a secure operating system.

“High-end security features also include the use of polycarbonate rather than paper for the passport data page that contains the holder’s biographic details,” Gemalto claims, adding that the transparent material that’s also used to make bulletproof glass has been chosen for its flexibility and durability.

However, while parts for the passports will be produced elsewhere, the citizens’ personal data is said to be handled exclusively in the UK.

Despite the seeming advantages of the new contract, the move to outsource UK passport printing was met with some disquiet at home. For instance, it cost the British company De La Rue, which dealt with printing the passports before Gemalto, serious losses in profit as well as the loss of some 170 jobs. It’s even been reported that De La Rue was planning to appeal the government’s decision, but ultimately decided against it.