asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether British citizens are entitled to expect that passport facilities will be withdrawn only in clearly defined circumstances which have been reported to Parliament; and, if so, what are the current circumstances in which the Government would exercise the right to withdraw passport facilities. [HL3055]
The circumstances in which a British passport would be withdrawn have been reported to Parliament on a number of occasions, the last being 7 February 1995, and have not changed. Withdrawal of a passport would be considered:
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will consider giving the present arrangements for issuing and withdrawing passports a statutory basis. [HL3056]
The Government have no plans to change the present system under which passports are issued in the United Kingdom at the discretion of my right honourable friend the Home Secretary, and by my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary in overseas posts, both exercising the Royal Prerogative.In practice, refusal and withdrawal of passport facilities to United Kingdom nationals is confined to certain well defined categories, of which Parliament has been informed from time to time. Although the issue of passports is a discretionary power under the Royal Prerogative, it is constrained as any statutory power might be, and the exercise of the discretion may be reviewed by the courts. The system has worked well and it has been generally accepted, under successive Administrations, that the exercise of the Royal Prerogative has not been abused.