Brexit sparked panic among British passport holders who flocked to renew their document on the website, only to be met with an error message on-screen. The UK Passport office’s official site crashed at the weekend as worried travellers sought to make sure theirs was fit for travel. Last month, Express.co.uk reported how millions could potentially be rendered invalid in light of a no deal Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit divorce deal will face a meaningful vote ahead of March 29, with further crucial House of Commons votes on the UK’s departure from the EU due this week.
The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, has backed calls for a second referendum on the hugely controversial political separation.
Currently, there is no settled Brexit agreement, which means a variety of options remain on the table
As well as a potential deal, stemming from Mrs May’s numerous negotiations in Brussels over details such as the Irish backstop, a no deal Brexit could still occur.
This is when the UK would leave the EU on the agreed date, yet with no plans or regulations in place of how to go forward.
It is this potential scenario which caused a slump in the exchange rate as well as fears that documents with less than 15 months of validity would not allow travellers to pass through security.
Meanwhile, consumer watchdog Which? sparked the flurry of applications on the website after a message about the scenario this weekend.
They warned that those with less than 15 months left on their passports could be at risk if they plan to travel after March 29 in a No Deal Brexit scenario.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “After months of patchy and confusing information about passports from the Government, this late rush in the weeks before Brexit was entirely foreseeable – which makes it even more shocking that people have been let down by an IT glitch.”
Yet those who took heed of the message were quickly left frustrated.
They found a notice which read: “This service is not available.
“If you don’t want to wait you can apply a different way.”
Later that evening, the website issue was rectified.
Meanwhile, last year, the Government issued information about the changing requirements for entry to Schengen states.
The advice said that you should have at least six months left on your passport before you travel, with millions of UK passports now under threat of becoming invalid.
It stated: “If you renewed a passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the six months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.”