A LEADING consumer group has said that the 3.5 million Brits who don’t comply with no-deal Brexit passport requirements should renew them today.
Friday March 8 marks three weeks from when the UK is set to leave the 28-member bloc.
But passport applications can take three weeks to be processed and even longer during busy periods.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine, said: “Millions of people could find their holiday plans disrupted or, worse yet, find themselves stranded at the departure gate and prevented from travelling altogether if they fail to renew their passport before the cut-off date.
“Anyone who thinks they might be affected should look to renew their passport today or if you already have travel plans in the near future, consider using the fast-track passport renewal service.”
A UK Foreign Office spokesperson said: “If the UK leaves the European Union with no deal, the passport validity rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change from March 29 2019.
“Some passports with up to 15 months validity remaining may not be valid for travel.”
The Home Office also told consumer group Which? that 1.5 million of the 3.5 million Brits who won’t comply, are expected to go on holiday in spring or summer this year.
The Government has now said that 15 months validity is required on UK passports due to rules governing the Schengen Area area of Europe.
Under a no-deal Brexit, Brits visiting the zone, which includes France, Spain and Greece, will be treated the same as non-EU nationals.
Those entering the area must have been issued a passport within the last 10 years and have at least six months validity left on it.
Currently UK passport-holders can carry over nine months of validity when they are renewing, before the document expires.
The nine months that would be carried over are invalid in the Schengen Area, so added to the six months required, Brits will need 15 months validity left on their passports.