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Post-Brexit Blues: Changing Color of British Passport Highlights Social Divide

© AP Photo / Matt DunhamThe traditional British passport.
The traditional British passport. - Sputnik International
Brexiteers were jubilant in the wake of Theresa May's December 22 announcement that the iconic blue British passport was making a triumphant return. But some say that the passport will come to symbolize both the gains and losses with Brexit, underscoring the deep divide afflicting British society.

Following a string of British concessions in ongoing Brexit negotiations with the EU, UK PM Theresa May announced the decision to return the color of the British passport to its historic gold and blue, changing it from today's EU-standard burgundy.

Supporters of Brexit immediately celebrated the news, echoing the PM's statement that the new post-Brexit passport will symbolize "our citizenship in of a proud, great nation." The UK Home Office added that the British passport is "one of the most iconic things about being British," The Guardian reports.

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"You can't be a nation unless you have this symbol," said an overjoyed Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party, according to The Guardian.

Supporters of the new passport also took to Twitter to express their satisfaction.

Yet while Brexit supporters cheer the return of their new passport, there are some who believe that it symbolizes not the "proudness" of the nation, but rather what the UK stands to lose as a result of Brexit. Citing unspecified sources in Brussels, The Guardian reports that holders of any British passports, regardless of color, could see reduced travel rights post-Brexit unless further negotiating concessions were made.

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According to The Guardian, there is a real chance that the UK will lose its fast-track travel privileges to Europe, but this would likely necessitate a

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at an election campaign rally near Aberdeen in Scotland, Britain April 29, 2017. - Sputnik International
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shift in the PM's position on immigration. Otherwise the UK will lose the freedom of movement it has hitherto enjoyed in Europe. Under the new EU travel information and authorization system (Etias), if the UK winds up not being considered part of the European Economic Area it is likely British citizens will need to apply online and pay a small administrative fee before traveling to Europe.

"It is an expression of how mendacious, absurd and parochial we look to the world," said Ed Miliband, former leader of the Labor Party, reports The Guardian.

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This was echoed by another British Labor MP, who quipped that while standing in long queues at the airport, at least Britons could "look at just how blue" their new passports are.

Remainers also took to twitter to express their frustrations over the announced passport.

Academics that are observing the reactions and counter-reactions note that British society has become so divided, that to a large extent, they simply do not understand each other.

"It's a sign of the times that the mirror image of it appealing to a certain segment of the British population is that it will be a total turn-off to the other," Anand Menon said according to The Guardian, a professor of European politics and foreign affairs at King's College, before adding "It's a reflection of how divided our society is: some people just cannot compute and other people are celebrating."

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