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British Passports

Volume 167: debated on Wednesday 14 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many individuals currently resident (a) in South Africa and (b) in the rest of the world (i) hold a British passport and (ii) have the right to return to live in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no means of assessing accurately how many British nationals overseas hold British passports. British nationals resident in South Africa are estimated to number between 500,000 and 1 million. Most of them have the right to live in the United Kingdom. British nationals in the rest of the world, including dependent territories, are estimated to number 8 million to 8ยท5 million. Of these, it is estimated that 5 million have the right to live in the United Kingdom. However, many of these are likely to be dual nationals currently holding only the passport of their country of residence.