A spokesperson for the UK Passport Office UKPO has confirmed that holders of current UK passports need to ‘act quickly’ to beat the August 1st deadline when all current UK passports with the words ‘European Union’ will become invalid. As a result of the country’s decision to leave the European Union, The European Council of Cross-Border Legislation informed the UKPO of their decision yesterday, and a £100 Fast-Track service was quickly announced to ensure that Brits are still able to holiday abroad this summer – destinations outside of the EU are expected to announce their own conditions for travel shortly.
UKPO spokesperson Miles Stamp said: ‘The ECCBL has made its position perfectly clear, and as it stands all current passports will become invalid for travel to other EU countries on August 1st 2016. From this date, UK passports will only be accepted within the EU if they do not have the words ‘European Union’ on them – this is why we have launched a fast-track service which is ideal for anyone who intends to travel this summer. By visiting any Post Office and paying a fee of £100 per person, holders will receive their updated passport without European Union wording on the front cover within 10 working days.’
Minister for International Travel Clive Talken MP told Southend News Network that passport holders must not try and get around the new rules by scratching the words ‘European Union’ off the front cover. He said: ‘We have already seen evidence of a worrying amount of people that have tried to scratch the words off of their passport’s front cover – this simply will not work. The gold ink that is used contains a chemical signature that works in conjunction with the biometric chip in all modern passports, and it is designed to be tamper-proof. Trying to remove the gold lettering with chemicals is also very dangerous as the potassium compound that is used gets incredibly volatile in certain conditions and could lead to severe skin burns.’