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East Lothian Liberal Democrats

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New British passports made by Franco/Dutch company in Poland under EU procurement as UK Brexit job losses continue

February 25, 2020 11:08 AM
Originally published by East Suffolk Liberal Democrats

UK passport maker De La Rue left at risk and laying people off, as twice as many UK companies set up operations in the Netherlands in 2019 compared to a year earlier and the UK Brexit job and brain drain continues.

UK passport Marianne Velvart@MarianneVelvart twitter (Marianne Velvart@MarianneVelvarttwitter UK passport)Past comments by our Prime Minister have underlined what he thinks about British business and we have highlighted on numerous occasions through this website the continuing post Brexit trend for UK firms to move their base or some operations away from the UK to Europe. The soon to arrive new UK Blue Passports from Poland underlines just how 'taking back control' is going to pan out in reality for British businesses.'

Few will be able to recall the slogan 'British jobs for Polish workers during the Brexit referendum but it is ironic that the new blue passport is being produced in Poland by French/Dutch firm Gemalto and the UK passport maker De La Rue is left to implement redundancies in Britain. The U.K. firm based in Basingstoke, that prints all current Bank of England banknotes at a site in Debden, Essex, also printed the burgundy passports but didn't get the contract worth £490m and has had to shed up to 200 UK jobs.

Last autumn, De La Rue, the company that also prints the cash for about 140 central banks and employs more than 2,500 people globally, said there is a risk that the firm will collapse if its turnaround plan fails to work. The announcement came as it suspended its dividend and reported a loss in the first half of its financial year. However, it concluded that there was "a material uncertainty that casts significant doubt on the group's ability to operate as a going concern"

The blue Passports to arrive in March are seen by Johnson, Patel and Farage and Co as a sign that the UK has 'taken back control' however the reality is that the UK could have had blue passports as an EU member anyway. Croatia does.

Still there will be plenty of time for UK travellers to reflect as they wait three times as long at passport control with a passport that created jobs in Poland.

It is not just UK printers that are left to ponder their future. According to Reuters, uncertainty remains about what the trade deal to be negotiated between the UK and the EU will look like. Companies continue to look at other options:

Twice as many companies set up operations in the Netherlands in 2019 compared to a year earlier as Britain's departure from the European Union neared, according to the Dutch government Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA). Last year, 78 businesses chose to open offices or move operations to the Benelux country, taking the total number since the British referendum in 2016 to 140, the NFIA is reported to have said.

The NFIA is reported to have told REUTERS that it is currently talking to 425 companies about a move or expansion in the Netherlands, up from 175 in 2018. The 140 businesses, mainly in finance, information technology, media, advertising, life sciences and the health sectors are expected to create more than 4,200 jobs and 375 million euros (£311 million) in investments in coming years.

Sources: REUTERS/Neil Hall

BBC News


Image: Marianne Velvart@MarianneVelvart