§ Lord Marlesford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What proportion of the 43,855,981 valid British passports are machine readable; and whether they will start to record electronically the departures and arrivals of those with machine-readable passports. [HL1208]
§ Lord Rooker
The United Kingdom Passport Service issued the last old blue 10-year passport in November 1991, when the roll-out to the new passport was completed. All passports issued since then have been machine readable.
While the Immigration Service does not currently retain the passport details of all arriving or departing passengers, it is currently urgently exploring with other control agencies the use of technology to require airlines to retain the passport details of passengers before they board a flight to or from the United Kingdom.