Passport Office website crashes as Britons rush to renew
The UK Passport Office website crashed yesterday following a surge of applications from Britons ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU later this month.
Consumer group Which? had warned those with up to 15 months left on their passport that they could be denied entry to many European countries after March 29 in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
It warned that that they would need to apply for new passports by today to guarantee they arrived by March 29.
However, many of those trying to renew took to social media to complain that they were unable to access the Passport Office website on Thursday.
In a statement on Twitter, the Passport Office said: “There are currently technical issues with our website. We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible, and will let you know when it’s up and running. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.”
It later said the service was up and running again.
If Briton leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens could be required to have a minimum six months left on their passports to enter countries in the Schengen zone.
However, Which? said some travellers with up to 15 months left on their passports might also be barred from entering the EU.
This is because until recently Britons who renewed their passport before it expired could have up to nine months of the remaining validity added to their new one, but the Government has said that this time carried over won’t count towards the six-month requirement in the event of a no-deal Brexit.