A West Midlands MEP has joined the clamour of disapproval over the decision to give a Franco-Dutch company the lucrative contract to print iconic British blue passports after the UK leaves the European Union.
UKIP Euro MP James Carver said he was “extremely disappointed” that the Government had closed a deal which would see British company De La Rue loose the contract which is currently worth £490 million over 10 years and switch manufacture to Paris-based security company Gemalto from 2019.
Mr Carver said: “To have the symbol of our independence – and our Britishness – produced by a foreign company is a perverse irony.
“I gather Gemalto does have sites in Fareham and Hayward, where 70 new jobs will be created, but for this could have serious consequences for Gateshead-based De La Rue and its workforce.
“The cheapest option is not necessarily always the best option and the decision makers should also have thought about the impact this could have on De La Rue, which has already seen almost five per cent wiped off its share price today, following a sharp fall on Tuesday triggered by a profit warning.”