Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Brexit blue passport.

Good news for old traditionalists, British passports issued after 2019 will be dark blue and gold taking us back to the old days when a British Passport held aloft would cause the massed ranks of foreigners waiting at passport control to part with due deference to make way for a British traveller.

It is some time since I have travelled with the old fashioned British passport and mostly I seem to travel by car which just requires you to drive round the car park following the arrows passing passport control and driving on to a Euro train.

Most of my trips are done with The Bentley Drivers Club or friends from the club which means we are all travelling in Bentley motor cars so one hardly notices passport control at all and I must say that barring one unfortunate return journey from Le Mans where a train had broken down in the tunnel causing us to be delayed at Calais for some nine hours I cannot recommend Euro Tunnel enough.

Having not flown for some time I was rather surprised when upon our return recently from a trip to Rome we had to join the queue of EU Nationals for the passport control as there was no alternative for British passport holders.

Where, I wondered, was the man in top hat and tails beckoning us British passport holders to the British nothing to declare alley and march straight through.

It took some considerable time to wend our way round the metal maze with all the EU nationals until finally arriving at the do it yourself passport control; what, one wonders should you do if you suspect yourself of trafficking drugs at the do it yourself passport control, take yourself off to a private room for a rectal examination.

I'm not sure about any service, or lack of service which requires you to do anything yourself and it is indeed one of my pet hates, obviously it serves us right for travelling Ryanair, I can't imagine first class passengers on Her Majesty's British Airways have to suffer in this way, I certainly hope not.

The first navy cover passports were issued in 1921 although from my recollection of my old passport, they were a very dark blue almost to the point of looking black, a colour I look forward to having again as long as it is dark and not light blue, after all the last thing we want is to be wrongly identified as Americans.

It would be nice to return to the older request from Her Majesty's Government which says "Her Britannic Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary".

It seems to have more gravitas than the modern version where it is merely the Secretary of State requesting our safe passage.

It will be very interesting to see how many people request one of the new blue passports the minute they are available, rather than waiting until their old EU one expires. I know I shall be one of the first in the queue..


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