§ Mr. Riddick
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to seek parliamentary approval to replace the British passport with a European passport as planned for 1992: and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Renton
British passports are not being replaced with a European one. Rather, a new version of the British passport, machine-readable and in a common format agreed in 1981 with other member states of the European Community, will start to appear from this July when the Glasgow passport office is computerised. By the end of 1989 all six passport offices in the United Kingdom should be issuing British passports in the new format. Prototypes of the new passport and an explanatory note were placed in the Library in July 1984, and supplemented in December 1987 with updated versions of both.