The government should reverse its decision to ship the production of the UK’s new iconic passport to France, Britain’s largest union, Unite said after it emerged the British firm De La Rue would no longer produce UK passports after 2019.
Accusing government ministers of betraying UK workers, Unite said attempts to blame European Union procurement rules for the decision was a smokescreen because France produces its own passports citing national security.
Vowing to fight the decision to secure UK jobs Unite national officer Louisa Bull said: “Theresa May and Amber Rudd need to explain to De La Rue workers why ‘taking back control’ means their jobs could be put at risk while the production of Britain’s new iconic passport is shipped overseas to France.
“It wouldn’t happen in France because of national security and it shouldn’t happen in the UK. De La Rue is the UK’s leading security printer making bank notes as well as passports sustaining thousands of decent jobs in the UK.
“Ministers need to reverse this decision and start supporting British business and UK workers through public procurement and an industrial strategy which is more than just soundbites.”
The boss of De La Rue said jobs are at risk at their plant in Gateshead “I would like Theresa May to face them and explain to the workforce why they think this is a sensible decision to offshore a British icon.”
Liz Twist, MP also hit out at the decision in a tweet:
"Decision to produce passports abroad is devastating for my constituents who work at De La Rue & a massive blow to the reputation of British business. At a defining moment in our history, this sends out completely the wrong message & will reduce our standing in Europe & the world."