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.
The UK passport is an expression of our independence and sovereignty – symbolising our citizenship of a proud, great nation. That's why we have announced that the iconic #bluepassport will return after we leave the European Union in 2019. https://t.co/pgQvrBIna5— Theresa May (@theresa_may) December 22, 2017
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.
"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.
I’m looking forward to getting a #bluepassport & I won’t be embarrassed when presenting it in passport control. In fact I’ll ditch my driving license as my regular ID & use my blue passport instead. An advertisement of dumping the EU. Not EUROPE, the EU. pic.twitter.com/xnVWfkuLHH— Feisty🇬🇧realist (@FeistyRealist) December 22, 2017
Whilst we’re delighted that Britain is getting our #BluePassport back, we’re more excited about no longer having an European Union passport. We’re getting our country back!— Snowflake Bible ❄️ (@JRMoggmentum) December 22, 2017
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.
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
"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.
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.
The blue passport will be a constant dismal reminder of backward-looking #Brexit, reaffirming the establishment, confirming the far right victory and refusing to allow the UK to modernise and live in the 21st century. #bluepassport— Elizabeth Bangs #FBPE (@ElizabethBangs) December 22, 2017
Imagine voting to ruin your country for the sake of a #BluePassport!— James (@James4Labour) December 22, 2017
The only good thing to come from #Brexit is that I’ll be able to say in 50yrs time, after all the realities have hit hard: I didn’t vote for it and I didn’t want it.
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."