Theresa May mocked over post-Brexit plan for blue passport

Theresa May mocked over post-Brexit plan for blue passport

Theresa May has been accused of lying to the British people by a senior ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the plan to restore dark blue British passports after Brexit.

German MEP Manfred Weber mocked the focus on changing the colour of the travel document and stressed that it would have been possible to have blue passports without leaving the European Union.

Mr Weber, leader of the centre-right European People’s Party in the European Parliament, also warned the Prime Minister that a deal on a transitional period after Brexit in March 2019 could not be taken for granted.

The passport story was a "scam" and a "drastic example for the lack of leadership" in Westminster, he said.

Mrs May has hailed the move to bring back blue travel documents as an expression of the UK’s post-Brexit "sovereignty and independence".

But Mr Weber said: "The first problem in this respect is about honesty - the whole story is a scam.

"EU law does not say anything about passport colours. Croatia have navy blue passports for years already, you didn’t have to leave the Union for that, so why do you not tell people the truth?"

He added: "The blue passports are the first and the only real thing the British Government has achieved in more than one-and-a-half years of negotiations.

"If I were a British citizen I would be deeply worried about the priorities of my Government."

Addressing MEPs in Strasbourg, Mr Weber also hit out at Brexit Secretary David Davis over complaints about the EU planning for a "no deal" scenario and Chancellor Philip Hammond over concerns for the City of London’s access to the single market.

"My message to London is please stop complaining, please deliver. Give us an outlook about what you want to achieve for the future relationships," he said.

And he delivered a "clear warning" that if the conditions for a transitional deal are not correct then his MEPs would not back it: "The cliff edge is far from being avoided."

- PA 

More in this Section

Johnson insists voting Tory ‘only way’ to deliver Brexit despite Farage threatJohnson insists voting Tory ‘only way’ to deliver Brexit despite Farage threat

Two-million-year-old molar fossil links extinct giant ape to living orangutanTwo-million-year-old molar fossil links extinct giant ape to living orangutan

Phage therapy hope for alcoholic liver diseasePhage therapy hope for alcoholic liver disease

Jeremy Corbyn under fire for saying IS leader should have been put on trialJeremy Corbyn under fire for saying IS leader should have been put on trial


Lifestyle

Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fastion. By Paul McLachen.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

If children are confident in interacting with others it takes away so much stress and social anxiety for them. Not too long ago, my daughter Joan and I were out with friends at a restaurant and we wanted extra water and a few other bits and Joan volunteered to go up and ask the waiter for them. My friend was really surprised at this and said that none of her children would willingly do that.Mum’s the word: We should look for chances to strengthen our kids’ social skills

More From The Irish Examiner