The government threw away £8.6million worth of burgundy passports when the UK switched to the ‘classic’ blue versions after Brexit, it has been reported.
Home Office accounts show that huge numbers of the old passport were discarded after Britain reverted to the pre-EU colour in March as a ‘symbol of our national identify’.
‘Store losses totalling £8.6million were incurred as the result of a change in passports design to the new blue passport and the resulting destruction of old passport book stocks,’ the accounts said.
The scale of the loss suggests that well over 100,000 passports have been thrown away. People pay £75 for adult passports, but that includes the cost of processing.
Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “Under this Conservative Government the Home Office has descended into costly chaos – with the British people picking up the bill.
“It’s utterly shameful that they needlessly wasted millions of pounds on scrapping passports, when this should have been planned for well in advance.”
The Home Office blamed coronavirus for hitting demand, as well as a switch in suppliers.
Brexiteers had championed the decision to reintroduce blue passports – and they became a symbol of the Leave campaign.
However, there was previously outrage after it emerged the contract for British travel documents after Brexit had been given to a Franco-Dutch firm.