De La Rue may compete with EU firms for post-Brexit passport tender

By Rhys Handley, Tuesday 12 September 2017

Be the first to comment

Two EU-based companies are also bidding for the tender to print British passports after Brexit, according to reports from the Sunday Times which have left pro-leave MPs “seeing red”.

passport

The burgundy passport may be replaced by a navy design closer to pre-EU spec

The current tender for the design and production of new British passports is set to expire in 2019, the year the UK leaves the European Union. PrintWeek previously reported that the current holders, De La Rue, was in the running to pick up the new contract, now worth £490m.

According to “insiders” speaking to the Sunday Times, the two other shortlisted companies competing for the contract are French and German. Eurosceptics have previously called for a return to the older style of British passport – navy blue with an embossed royal arms on the cover.

Pro-Brexit Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen was unhappy with the idea of European firms appearing on the tender shortlist.

He told the Sunday Times: “While I want to see the government achieving the best value for money, it would be ludicrous if our passports were made in Europe.

“I want to see the new British passport manufactured in Britain in a British factory employing British people because if it is not it rather defeats the objective of upholding British identity.”

Speaking to Dezeen magazine in February, De La Rue creative director Julian Payne said the new passport is “likely to become a defining symbol of Britain’s new identity and relationship with the world”. He said the fact that the current contract was set to expire in the same year as Brexit was “quite coincidental”.

The new contract is set to last for 10 years with potential for an 18-month extension. The estimated value is based on current unit prices and excludes VAT.

De La Rue was not available to offer comment at the time of writing.

The Home Office issues over 6 million passports annually and is the only provider of passports to British expatriate citizens. 

It is expected that the successful company will be announced by Christmas.

Share this

Related headlines

New passport tender issued
07 April 2017

The Home Office has issued a tender for the design and production of the new British passports, worth...

UK passport production and distribution returns to UK
06 October 2011

UK immigration minister Damian Green has announced that the printing and distribution of UK passports...

3M jobs threatened as passport contract switches to De La Rue
17 December 2010

More than 100 production staff are facing redundancy at 3M Security Printing as a result of its loss...

Article Tags

This Issue

Latest comments