UK and EU agree on Brexit 'backstop' solution for the Irish border

In the statement, the eight prime ministers said: "We regret Brexit, but acknowledge the choice made by British voters for the UK Government to negotiate withdrawal".

Theresa May has been urged to visit the factory of a United Kingdom security firm and explain why a French company is taking over their contract to make British passports.

Shares in De La Rue dropped nearly 5% in London.

Gemalto, a French company, has reportedly won the bid by undercutting competitors by £50m.

Referring to staff at the firm's Gateshead factory, he said: I'm going to have to go and face those workers, look at them in the whites of the eyes and try and explain to them why the British Government thinks it's a sensible decision to buy French passports not British passports.

Mr Sutherland said the Home Office had confirmed the move to him, although ministers denied the process was complete. Now we learn that the passports will be printed by a foreign company.

"Now this icon of British identity is going to be manufactured in France".

Priti Patel, a figurehead of the pro-Brexit campaign in Britain's 2016 referendum vote to leave the European Union, said: "The return of our iconic blue passport will re-establish the British identity". While pro-Brexit MP Bill Cash said the decision was incorrect symbolically, chief executive of anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain Eloise Todd termed the irony as "unreal".

Eight EU leaders have signed a statement backing Liberal Democrat calls for the British public to have the final say on any Brexit deal.

Meanwhile, former worldwide development secretary Priti Patel raged it would be a national humiliation.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said the procurement process had not been finalised.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in February in Parliament that after Brexit, her country would go back to the blue and gold passports, something the UK wants for itself and not what the European Union prefers, reported the Guardian.

Britain's interior ministry said it was running a fair and open competition to make sure the end result is a high quality and secure product offering best value for money to customers.

"All these Brexiteers claim to be champions of global free trade until it doesn't work out for their interests - at which point they magically transform into angry isolationists who don't back British firms to compete around the world", a spokesman said.

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