EU Nationals: Identity Cards

Home Office written question – answered on 16th September 2021.

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Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee, Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of a short transition period from the 1 October 2021 deadline to allow for EU citizens to travel to the UK using a national ID card.

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee, Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with her European counterparts on the potential merits of a short transition period from 1 October 2021 to allow for EU citizens to travel to the UK using a national ID card.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The UK has left the EU, ended free movement and is aligning the entry of EU and non-EU citizens. Citizens from outside the EU (and other EEA countries and Switzerland) cannot use national identity cards for travel to the UK and EEA national identity cards are, as a rule, less secure documents than national passports, hence they dominate the figures for document abuse detected at the border. Their continued use presents a risk to border security which we are no longer obliged to accept.

All visitors from outside the EU are expected to hold a passport (and visa where necessary) and those visiting from EU countries will be expected to do the same.

We have provided almost a year’s notice for this change to allow people to plan ahead and obtain a passport, if they need to, before they travel. Our assessment is therefore a short transition period from 1 October 2021 is not appropriate and, consequently, there have been no discussions on this point with EU Member States.

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