The old style dark blue British passport could return under a £490 million overhaul of travel documents when the UK leaves the European Union in 2019.
Although the timing of the redesign is not linked to Brexit, the move paves the way for burgundy passports to be replaced by the traditional covers, according to weekend reports.
The Home Office is being urged by pro-Brexit Conservative MPs to revert to the look of the old-style passport, which was phased out from 1988 after more than 60 years.
It was replaced by the burgundy design similar to passports carried in all EU countries.
The Home Office has asked for tenders to redesign the current passport which is produced by the private security firm De La Rue.
Home Office spokesman said: “The UK passport is routinely redesigned every five years to guard against counterfeiting.
“We are launching the procurement process now to ensure there is sufficient time to produce and design UK passports from 2019 when the current contract ends.
“The timing of any potential changes to the passport after the UK has left the European Union has not been set.”
Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell told the Press Association: “The restoration of our own British passport is a clear statement to the world that Britain is back.
“Our British identity was slowly but surely being submerged into an artificial European one that most Brits felt increasingly unhappy about.
“The humiliation of having a pink European Union passport will now soon be over and the United Kingdom nationals can once again feel pride and self-confidence in their own nationality when travelling, just as the Swiss and Americans can do.
“National identity matters and there is no better way of demonstrating this today than by bringing back this much-loved national symbol when travelling overseas.”
However, Liberal Democrats leader, Tim Farron, said: “Changing the colour of the passport is just another expense on an ever increasing list of the cost of Brexit.
“This is a completely superficial expenditure which could have been spent on our hospitals and our schools. And for what? All this does is put a £490 million smile on Nigel Farage’s face.”
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