2018 03 22 blue passportJames Gray MP has today written to Amber Rudd questioning the decision to award the contract for the new UK passport to a French manufacturer.

Mr Gray said “The UK Government have a responsibility to protect British jobs and promote innovative and pioneering British businesses, particularly during this uncertain period of exiting the EU."

"The British passport is a symbol of national pride and British identity. It is a cruel irony for the staff of previous contract holders De La Rue, who have a base in the neighbouring county of Somerset, that the new British passport will not be made by a British company."

"I hope that Ministers will reflect on the fact they have awarded one of the most prized government contracts to a French company when British firms are expressly prohibited from bidding to manufacture passports in those markets. It seems to me that this decision is ill-thought-out and at odds with the Government’s purported aims to champion British business at home and abroad. It sends a confused message and demonstrates to the public that it has its priorities wrong at a time of huge uncertainty for the country.”