European firm wins contract for post-Brexit UK passports


The British passport maker that lost out on the contract to make the post-Brexit blue version is dropping its appeal against the decision as it revealed its failed bid had cost £4m.

Last month it was announced that the company will not design and produce the United Kingdom passport when its existing contract expires in July 2019.

The Government has come under heavy fire for its decision to choose a European firm for the contract, but has claimed it will save £120m during the lifetime of the 11-and-a-half-year contract.

De La Rue said it made the decision not to appeal following legal advice, concluding it was "not in the best interests of the company".

"Theresa May needs to wake up to the anger her government's short sighted job destroying decision has generated and intervene to back United Kingdom passport workers by ensuring Britain's blue passports are made in the United Kingdom".

The British firm say they have "considered all options", but that they will not challenge the decision.

The figure reflects the write-off of £4m related to the United Kingdom passport tender and delays in the shipment of certain contracts in the last week of the financial period.

He called the award of the deal to Gemalto "surprising and disappointing" and questioned "why the British government isn't supporting British industry".

De La Rue has held the contract to manufacture British passports since 2009.

"Theresa May and her government is now putting all that at risk with little thought of the consequences or the shockwaves that it will send through the community and local economy", she added, saying that the union is "mobilised and prepared to fight the government's decision".

Underlying operating profit for the year to end-March would be in the low to mid 60s million pound range, the company said.

Shares in the firm dropped as much as 8% after De La Rue announced their profit blow and the departure of their finance chief last month.

Revenue for the year had increased by about 6%, with growth across all product lines, it said, although it added that it was "cautious" about its current financial year.

Gemalto already produces the UK's photo driving licence.