Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
A blue, blue, blue Christmas
23 December 2017, 20:51 | Updated: 24 December 2017, 21:26
Let the joy be unconfined. The nation has an early Christmas present. We can now distance ourselves from the European Union by the colour of our passports.
A gift at this most joyous time of year - it is what Jesus would have wanted.
No longer will we have to spend ten seconds glancing at the burgundy cover of the EU affiliated passport as we proffer it to the person behind the glass after disembarking the plane.
That is a whole ten seconds less of being dictated to by the unelected bureaucrats of the insidious European experiment.
We will have to be patient, of course. The best true-blue things come to those that wait. From October 2019, we will be able to apply through the post for our new blue passports.
These will be sped back to us in only six short weeks, or seven if we are actually planning to leave in six.
For an extra fast return, for those who forgot or who are too eager to endure a delay for the return of their British birth right, an ultra-quick Premium service will be available, at extra cost.
For many, no price is too high for the ability to gaze wistfully at the correct coloured cover before replacing it in the drawer and going on holiday to Clacton, because they don't talk funny there, the food is chips with everything and the tea is strong enough to stand your spoon up in.
True blue Tories have been heralding its imminent return for some time.
Speaking in April, the member for ultra-patriotic, very British Romford, the Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, said the burgundy EU passport had been a source of national “humiliation”.
He said, “The restoration of our own British passport is a clear statement to the world that Britain is back,”
“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 a few points: if you are the sort of person who feels humiliated by the colour of your passport, you probably shouldn't be going abroad in the first place for fear of humiliating the nation, and if you need a specific hue on your official identification document to feel pride in your nationality, then that pride does not run very deep.
Also, we aren't the only country that has that blue on our passports. North Korea uses it too
That crack about the EU passport being pink was a telling one. It is not pink, it is quite clearly dark red, but pink has certain connotations and we would not want Johnny foreigner to think we were like that, do we Mr Rosindell?
They can keep their filthy European perversions to themselves.
He tweeted, 'A great Christmas present for those who care about our national identity - the fanatical Remainers hate it, but the restoration of our own British passport is a powerful symbol that Britain is Back!'
There are fanatics all right, just not the people he is pointing at. And if Britain is back, where have we been? Was it abroad? What was the weather like?
Brandon Lewis, the immigration minister, said: “Leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world.
“That is why I am delighted to announce that the British passport will be returning to the iconic blue and gold design after we have left the European Union in 2019.”
One small detail: we could have had any colour passport we wanted all along. There is no binding EU stipulation as to the shade, hue, tint, tinge or complexion of the travel document.
The government has admitted that it chose to change to the burgundy red of its own volition. It said that to change it back would have previously seemed odd but that it doesn't now.
Put out the bunting – it doesn't seem odd now!
What is odd is to celebrate, in such an effortful patriotic fervour, the release from something that was never a rule in the first place.
Hopefully, the new document will be made from unbendable wood, like the old one, and not fey and pliable, as they are now.
They must be so stiff that you give yourself a slipped disc if you put them in your back pocket and sit on them.
That way we can suffer in silence for our country, like a proper patriot should.
I'd be tickled if they get made in France, on German printers with Italian ink.