HC Deb 02 February 1977 vol 925 cc224-5W
46. Sir Anthony Royle

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the current situation regarding the European passport following his decision to place a model of the proposed document in the Library.

Dr. Owen

Agreement in principle on the issue of national passports in a uniform design was reached in the European Council in December 1975. The implementation of this agreement has been the subject of subsequent discussion. The subject was discussed by the Council of Ministers in December 1976 but agreement was not reached on the outstanding issues of the design. These mainly concern the layout of the cover and the languages to be used on the inside pages. Much detail work will be required before agreement is reached on all the features of the proposed uniform design.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library and also distribute to the Press facsimilies of the proposed European style passport that is to replace the present British passport; and if he will ensure that hon. Members and those they represent may offer comments before any decisions are reached on the colour, layout, typescript and language of British travel documents either by the EEC or by Her Majesty's Ministers.

Dr. Owen

A facsimile of one proposed design for the cover of the United Kingdom version of the uniform-style EEC passport, together with a colour sample, has been placed in the Library and given to the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee. Facsimiles are available for viewing by the Press through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office News Department. Details are still being discussed with our partners among the Nine regarding such things as the colour, layout, and languages. No decisions have been taken on these by the Council of Ministers. The Government are always ready to listen to the views of hon. Members and members of the public on these matters.