What colour is your passport?
Sir, – Responding to Aoife Lord’s view (December 28th) that UK passport holders will be stuck in the long non-EU queue at Dublin Airport post-Brexit, Lord Kilclooney (December 29th) writes that at UK airports, UK passport holders will have their own fast-moving UK queues and will no longer be delayed in EU queues. This may well be the case but it is likely that these fast-moving UK queues referred to by Lord Kilclooney will be at the departure terminals. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?” Jane Austen’s observation has certainly held true for our nearest neighbours. In recent months they have provided much entertainment as they wrestle with the conundrum that is Brexit. The latest instalment, the debate on the promised return of the blue passport, does not disappoint.
Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell stated that the burgundy passport, introduced in 1988, was a source of “national humiliation”. We now know that there was nothing preventing the UK from having a blue passport, as EU member Croatia can attest. The hated burgundy is the only passport that the 24 million Britons under 30 have ever known. They must wonder what the fuss is about. The cherished blue was introduced under the direction of the League of Nations in 1920, following a Paris accord which also mandated that the passport should be in French as well as the native language. Any new passport produced by the UK has to be of a standard size, and fulfil strict criteria outlined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an agency of the UN. The passport will also have to comply with US regulations if visa-free travel to that country is to be maintained.
Finally, the Sun newspaper, claiming responsibility for a “stunning Brexit victory”, trumpeted that the new passport would have the British royal motto “Dieu et Mon Droit” printed on it. This ignores the facts that these words are already printed on the cover of the British passport and are in French. Let there be no doubt. With these new blue passports, our Brexit buddies have struck comedy gold. – Yours, etc,
Rathgar, Dublin 6.
Sir, – With a new, blue British passport in one hand and a red Irish passport in the other, Lord Kilclooney (December 29th) would be able to approach the immigration queue in the terminal building at almost every European airport with total confidence that he would emerge quickly. – Yours, etc,