HC Deb 20 November 2000 vol 357 c84W
29. Mr. Robathan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on European Commission proposals relating to the design of passports in EU member states. [137478]

Mrs. Roche

The European Commission has not yet put forward any proposals on passport format, although it announced its intention to do so in September. We have made clear to the Commission that we would not agree to the removal of the Royal Coat of Arms from the cover of the passport. Nor would we agree to any other amendments which were not justified on security grounds.

The Commission has said that there is, and will be, no proposal to replace the Royal Crest with stars on the front of passports, or to change the message on the inside cover.

We will inform Parliament more fully of our reactions to the proposals when they emerge.