Nigel Farage has lauded the decision to change British passports from burgundy to blue as being the “first real, tangible victory” since the EU referendum and used it to wish Britain a Merry Christmas in the way only he can – by coining the term, “Happy Brexmas”.
The Home Office announced Friday that the “iconic” blue and gold design which came into use almost 100 years is set to return.
The passports, Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said, will be issued to those renewing or applying for a passport from October 2019.
Burgundy passports were first issued in 1988 despite the EU never compelling the UK to ditch its blue covered travel document.
Former Ukip leader and chief Brexiteer Farage responded to the news on Twitter with “happy Brexmas”, then proceeded to proclaim its significance on both the BBC and, rather nostalgically on LBC.
Farage reiterated his Christmas-Brexit phrase to the BBC before adding the decision was something to savour, saying “it is the first, real, tangible victory that we have had since the referendum and it something that we should all celebrate”.
When questioned on its significance, given the state of Brexit negotiations, Farage double-downed, “it is a tangible gain and that’s something,” he said, before conceding slightly, that it wasn’t, because of the Government: “There is an awful lot more to do and we really do need a Government with some courage and with some vision and at the moment that does appear to be sadly lacking.”
Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme he knew many Remain voters who still had an “attachment” and “speak fondly” of the blue passport, something a giddy Farage recalled on LBC, with a story beginning with, “I remember in 1988”.
Farage went on to explain that when they “abolished the British Passport, they didn’t just change the colour of it”.
What they did, he said, was “put two words on top of it, ‘European Union’.
Farage: “And that said to me, 30 years ago, that our political class, we’re basically selling out our country, our nationality, our individuality… and so I fought them.”
Not everyone was ecstatic as Farage about “Brexmas” and the significance of Britain ditching burgundy for blue… and a myriad of other reasons.
Farage wasn’t alone in his excitement though, Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, who campaigned to bring back the blue passport, was also pleased, so ecstatic in fact he jumbled his tweet about it, calling the change a “powerful symbol that Britain in back”.