UK passports will change from the standard EU burgundy colour to a blue and gold design following Brexit, the government has confirmed.

The move is being made “to symbolise our national identity.”

New blue and gold passports will be issued from October 2019 to those renewing or applying for a new passport.

The new blue passport will be one of the most secure travel documents in the world, with a raft of new and updated security features and technologies to protect against fraud and forgery, according to the Home Office.

The current paper-based picture page will be replaced with a new, “super-strength” plastic polycarbonate material that will be more difficult to alter.

The blue cover is a return to the original appearance of the British passport, with the colour first used in 1921.

It remained the colour of choice until the UK joined the EU and the burgundy common format colour was agreed and adopted.

“There is no need for British passport holders to do anything ahead of their current passport renewal date,” the government said.

“More details about the new passport will be announced when a supplier is appointed in spring next year.”

Immigration minister Brandon Lewis said: “Leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world.

“That is why I am delighted to announce that the British passport will be returning to the iconic blue and gold design after we have left the European Union in 2019.

“It will also be one of the most secure travel documents in the world, with a raft of new security measures to protect against fraud and forgery.”

To save the taxpayer money, the newly designed passports will be introduced in a phased approach.

After the UK leaves the EU, burgundy passports will continue to be issued but with no reference to the European Union.