BLUE passports are slowly being phased in for Brits as the country leaves the EU on December 31.

The UK is ditching its European Union-style burgundy passports, instead returning to traditional British blue – here is everything you need to know about getting one.

Are blue passports coming back after Brexit?

The new blue passport design is being phased in, with Brits already being issued the new design.

Some Brits were still issued burgundy versions earlier this year – but both styles of passport will be equally valid for travel.

However, you cannot request a blue passport.

The government website states: "The new blue passport design is now being issued.

"If you renew your passport during this initial period, you may be issued with either a blue or a burgundy British passport.

"You will not be able to choose whether you get a burgundy or a blue passport."

When will I get a new blue passport?

The new blue passport designs were phased in at the beginning of the year.

The majority of new British passports are now blue.

Who designed the new blue passports and where will they be made?

British company De La Rue will no longer produce British passports.

Instead, the lucrative business will be handed over to French-Dutch firm Gemalto.

De La Rue produced its first passport for Britain back in 1915.

The decision sparked outrage among Tory MPs who accused the Home Office of "a national humiliation".

How have UK passports changed over time?

The earliest passports were issued under the reign of Henry V in 1414, but it was not until 1915 that the first modern-style British passports were available.

They included a photograph and signature and consisted of a single piece of paper that folded out and sat between cardboard covers.

The first blue passport in the format of a book was issued in 1921 – it had 32 pages and was written in French.

In 1988 the first burgundy coloured machine-readable passports were issued in the UK following the common format introduced by the European Economic Community.

A decade later, the first digital UK passport was introduced which included a digital image of the photograph and signature.

By 2006 the first biometric passports were issued with an electronic chip featuring the holder’s data.

And in 2008 the first ePassport gates were introduced in the UK.

There are now around 240 ePassport Gates operational, covering 21 air and rail terminals, helping to speed up arrivals and improve border security.

The national identity: A timeline showing the history of the UK passport

THE first passport-type papers appeared in 1414 with a "safe conduct" document referred to in an Act of Parliament in Henry V's reign.
1540: Travel papers are called passports for the first time.

1641: Oldest surviving British passport was issued.

1794: The Home Office takes control of issuing them in a role it still has today.

1835: Row breaks out over "degrading" demands for British passports to include physical descriptions.

1858: Passports are written in English for the first time. They had been in French, the official language of diplomacy.

1915: Passport books similar to those we use today were first issued.

1920: Our iconic blue book created.

1972: Watermarks were introduced.

1975: Laminated photos were added to help prevent pictures being switched.

1988: Blue book ordered to be abolished after the EU demands Britain use European Common Format Passport.

1993: The blue passport was ditched.

2002: Famous last-minute London Passport Office leaves Petty France, Westminster, for Victoria.

How long is my European Union passport valid for?

Every passport issued by the UK will continue to be valid as a EU travel document until the end of the year.

From the date of EU departure, all current British passports will still be valid as a UK travel document, but will no longer have the rights associated with EU membership.

Some countries may require at least six months left on the passport to be allowed to enter.

The very last EU British passport will run out by the beginning of 2030.

 

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