The Home Office has warned UK citizens a no deal Brexit means they will not be able to travel to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland if their passports are more than ten years old or expire within six months. Desperate travellers have been asking the Passport Office on Twitter whether they will be able to go on holiday after Friday. Nadine Newman asked: “I want to take my mum to Italy or Spain on Friday but she only has four months left on her passport. Can we fly?”
HM Passport Office replied: “After 12th April 2019 the rules for travel to the Schengen area in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.”
The HM Passport Office website has created a tool to help confused travellers check to see if they will be able to complete their journey after Friday.
The website says: “There would be changes if you visit the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
It would mean that from 12 April 2019, the rules for passports, driving, EHICcards, pet travel and more would change. Check if you need to act now to make sure you can travel as planned.”
However, if Theresa May does succeed in getting her deal through Parliament those travellers with passports with less than six months left on it will be able to travel.
The website said: “There would be no immediate changes to travel if the UK agrees a deal to leave the EU. The rules would be the same until at least 2020.”
And it seems the Passport Office is in the same boat as the rest of us when it comes to Brexit, waiting for the politicians to make a decision.
The website added: “This page will be updated when things change. To get the latest information sign up for the latest email alerts.”
New passports now do not have the words “European Union” on the front and this has upset some citizens.
Sharon Slinger said: “My daughter’s passport renewal has just been approved. Is there any way I can request one with “European Union” on the top?
“I renewed it now so she’d still have an EU one, and now seen that some are issued without :(“
Ms Slinger’s complaint was met with a pithy response from HM Passport Office.
They replied: “Hi Sharon, we issue over six million passports each year. Due to these high volumes, we are unable to provide our customers with any specific variation of the passport.”
The Home Office refused to reveal whether passport applications had increased in the run up to Brexit.
A spokesman told The Express: “ We do not provide a running commentary on the number of applications we receive. The Q1 report will be published at the end of May.”