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8 Jul, 2019 08:13

Post-Brexit UK passports may end up being printed... in Poland?

Post-Brexit UK passports may end up being printed... in Poland?

Britain’s new post-Brexit passports will be printed by a French-Dutch company, which has reportedly outsourced the job to Poland. Now Britons risk being reminded of their economic independence from Europe every time they travel.

The UK government awarded the contract for its new passport production to Gemalto, a French-Dutch firm, which won the £260 million ($326 million) tender to make the documents. The Home Office defended the move, claiming that the deal was cost-effective and would create 70 new jobs in the UK, at sites in Fareham and Heywood.

British workers are less than pleased by the news, however. According to Louisa Bull, an officer with labor union Unite, an estimated 170 skilled printing jobs will be lost in the UK due to the decision. To add insult to injury, Bull claims that Gemalto will use facilities it operates in Poland to print the passports.

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The company, which specializes in digital security and prints ID documents for numerous countries, declined to confirm the allegation when contacted by PrintWeek.

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

The decision to award a French-Dutch company the contract, as opposed to British firm De La Rue, which previously printed UK passports, left many on social media scratching their heads.

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