HC Deb 25 July 1988 vol 138 cc40-1W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action his Department takes to ensure that British passports, reported lost by holidaymakers, are not subsequently used as the basis for forged passports to gain unlawful entry into the United Kingdom.

Mr. Renton

Security features are incorporated in United Kingdom passports to ensure that any attempts to facilitate their use by another person, through alteration of personal details or substitution of photographs, will be readily apparent on examination of the document at United Kingdom ports of entry.

Mr. Gale

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many European Community countries have chosen to adopt the common format passport; in how many variations of colour, by country, they will be printed; and when, by country, they will be issued.

Mr. Renton

The majority of the 12 EC member states are already issuing national passports in the EC common format. The United Kingdom will begin to do so next month, and the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal are expected to follow before the end of the year. I understand that, the passports yet to be introduced in common with those already in use, will all comply with the terms of the relevant EC resolution, which specifies that the covers shall be burgundy red.

Mr. Worthington

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will state the monthly demand for passports over each of the past five years;

(2) what was the demand for British passports in 1979; and what is the current demand.

Mr. Renton

The monthly demand for passports 1983–88 is given in the table:

The annual demand for British passports in terms of the number of passports issued in 1979, 1987 and 1988 to the end of June, is as follows:

1979 1,809,091
1987 2,041,220
1 1988 1,474,807
1 January to June.

I regret that the annual figures for passports issued during 1979, 1983, 1985 and 1987 given in my reply to a question on 23 June at column 679 from my hon. Friend the Member for Barrow and Furness (Mr. Franks) were incorrect. I shall write to the hon. Member when I have established how the errors arose.

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