Another Brexit loss: The Dutch are even making British passports now!

Not again!

Oh dear, oh dear. The Dutch have done it again. First it was EMA and then it was Unilever. Now Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto have won a bid against British firm De La Rue, to make the new British passports. Isn’t it ironic? The contract for the new UK passports goes to a Franco-Dutch company…

Britain right now

Brexit and its ongoing EU negotiations in Brussels rarely leave the news these days (including DutchReview, sorry-not-sorry). It’s almost to a point that it is easy to partially switch off to the background noise of it. It is most likely that for the next 12 months the power tug-of-war will be fought endlessly, whilst many companies choose with their feet.

What’s all this about changing passports?

Before Britain joined the EU, they had a blue passport. It’s been burgundy ever since being part of the EU. Once they decided to leave the EU, this was going to be restored to blue and gold passports. This is set to go ahead from Autumn next year.

The catch? British firm De La Rue don’t be printing them. It’s become a bit of a joke because they want to change the passports back, but Britain can’t do it. It’s also pretty ironic that EU countries are making the post-Brexit passports, and not Britain themselves.

british passport
The Dutch are set to make this…

Franco-Dutch firm deal results in job losses

There is also a worry because as they have lost the £490m deal, it could result in many job losses, AGAIN. Understandably, everyone is pretty p**sed at this. Having the passports printed by a Franco-Dutch firm is a bit of a kick in the teeth. As a result there have already been appeals against the decision. People aren’t happy that it’s not going to be British-made, which was the point of restoring its sovereignty through a new blue passport. Also, this decision would not be allowed if tables were turned – nobody in their right might wouldn’t support their own businesses. Of course, with job losses on the way, this really is the icing on the cake. Well done, Brexit.

What do we think?

Needless to say that in the boring ducking and diving of those negotiations it tickled me greatly that a new contract had been given out for the printing of the new UK passports. Not long ago there was huge uproar that the new passports were going to go back to being gold and blue, rather than the standard burgundy. According premier May these colours were absolutely right, as they had always been the UK’s choice of colour. Confirming that “after we leave the EU we should choose the passport colour we want, not what the EU wants.” You can see the courageous political statement this makes…

I don’t seem to remember this huge cost of new passports (design and print) to be mentioned anywhere during the Brexit campaigns. Now it turns out that it isn’t the UK firm that is winning this contract worth £490m deal, but a Franco-Dutch company has clinched the lucrative deal.

So, the contract for post-Brexit UK blue/gold passport has gone to a Franco-Dutch organisation whilst they are still arguing about where they will be manufactured. My guess is somewhere on the border between Spain and Portugal. 😉

Any more?

Watch this space! This certainly won’t be the last you’ll hear of the Dutch making some gains from Brexit. The Brits may lose some more business yet. This is more sad news to my British ears.

“Oops, I did it again…I’ve stolen your jobs, got lost in the Brexit game, oh Brexit, Brexit.” 

What do you think of this passport fiasco? Let us know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook group – you know you wanna.

Co-authored by Emma Brown and Kirsten de Bouter Shillam

Kirsten de Bouter Shillam
Kirsten de Bouter Shillam
For 26 years Kirsten lived abroad before returning to her “home” country the Netherlands. The re-integration has been a weird and wonderful journey as described in her TEDx talk, but she is slowly settling back into the flat, cold and honest land. With a family that “crosses borders” there are still plenty of daily eyebrow raisers and hilarious confusions. Kirsten works as a speaker, coach and writer.


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