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PM urged to explain decision on passport.

Byline: JONATHON MANNING Business writer

PRIME Minister Theresa May has been urged to explain to workers on Tyneside why the post-Brexit blue passport will be made in France.

The contract to manufacture the document, which Brexiteers see as a symbol of the UK's regained independence, is set to be awarded to Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto rather than De La Rue's Gateshead plant.

De La Rue boss Martin Sutherland said the Home Office had confirmed the move to him, although ministers denied the process was complete.

The move has been condemned by Brexiteers and Mr Sutherland called on the Prime Minister or Home Secretary Amber Rudd to explain their decision to his workers.

Mr Sutherland said: "We have a very skilled, proud workforce in Gateshead and I am going to have face those workers, look at them in the whites of the eyes and try to explain to them why the British Government thinks it's a sensible decision to buy French passports not British Passports.

"I would like to invite Theresa May or Amber Rudd to come to my factory and explain to my dedicated workforce why they think this is a sensible decision to offshore the manufacture of a British icon."

De La Rue is the largest commercial passport manufacturer in the world and supplies passports to more than 40 countries around the world.

It has been producing British passports from its Gateshead factory for the last 10 years.

Full story: Pages 6&7

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 23, 2018
Words:243
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