Will new post-Brexit British passports be ‘Made in Poland’?
The UK government awarded the printing contract for its new post-Brexit passport production to Gemalto, a French-Dutch firm, which won the £260 million ($326 million) tender to make the documents. The Home Office defended the move, claiming that the deal was cost-effective and would create 70 new jobs in the UK, at sites in Fareham and Heywood.
But Gemalto has reportedly outsourced the job to Poland. Now Britons risk being reminded of their economic independence from Europe every time they travel.
British workers are less than pleased by the news, however. According to Louisa Bull, an officer with labor union Unite, an estimated 170 skilled printing jobs will be lost in the UK due to the decision. To add insult to injury, Bull claims that Gemalto will use facilities it operates in Poland to print the passports.
The company, which specializes in digital security and prints ID documents for numerous countries, declined to confirm the allegation.
However, while elements of the passports will be produced elsewhere, the citizens’ personal data is said to be handled exclusively in the UK.