Two friend of mine, a married couple, recently moved back from working in Antwerp for a couple of years following the collapse of one of the companies outt there.
Unfortunately, while abroad, the wife's passport had expired.
In order to get back into the UK, she had to get an emergency passport from Brussels. Today this she had to get photographs.
On a return to the UK, she applied for a new passport. However, the photographs that she had provided for her emergency passport were not adequate for a normal passport.
This implies that anyone wishing to get an emergency passport from the British Embassy or Brussels can do so without regulation photographs and gain access to the country.
However, the sad tale of bureaucracy and Britain's inability to function properly in identifying its citizens and helping and protecting them continues.
Having accessed Britain, the couple moved to the residents of their parents in Scotland. The wife then had to apply for a permanent passport. Not only was she informed her photographs were inadequate, she would be charged a ludicrous amount of money to obtain it.
She would also have to provide identification to establish who she was. However, her address on her driving licence was inaccurate, due to her working abroad. Therefore she couldn't supply a driving licence with the correct address and utility bill to go with it. As a result, this was unacceptable.
In order to pay for a passport, she needed to access her bank account. in order to do so, that she was using a bank in an area where she had used one for a long time, the bank stopped her card. When she spoke in thanking people she was informed she would have to supply a photograph identification of who she was. Without a passport or a driving licence for the relevant address, she was unable to do this. Her birth certificate is apparently not proof of who she is.
Then why on earth do we have to be registered at birth in this country? If it is not proof of who we are?
Because she didn't utilise their bank account, she didn't have her passport in order to receive money from British benefit systems, she would need to have a bank account. In order to claim the benefits, she would need have identification.
Luckily, she had been lent money by relatives in order to fund the acquisition of new passport, which will, when it is returned, allow her to change her driving licence, access her bank account and claim benefits.
But ultimately this is simply diabolical state of affairs.
In research on the situation, I discovered that it is very frightening to google the words "British passport" and identify just how many premium rate numbers and companies there are allegedly supplying advice on how to claim passports for entrance into Britain. I appreciate Internet crime makes it impossible to trace the people, tracked them down, or prevent their sites being hosted, it is frightening how easy it is, apparently, to earn money off people pretending to enter the country.
I would imagine that all of this bureaucracy and nonsensical procedures are an attempt by the government to appease scaremongering about immigration and migration issues that are topical in the country.
The irony is, *some* people seem to think if we withdraw from Europe completely, then we will have a significant chance to prevent immigration and migration and get a hold on the fluctuating British public.
However, if we hadn't opted out of the Maastricht Treaty, we would be able to stop the over dramatised flow of immigration in this country. Immigrants will be forced to stop at the first European country they reached that is providing asylum and not be able to continue to Britain.
We would also not have to have ludicrous bureaucracy that we seem to have around proving who we are. We would be able to travel around Europe without the ludicrous protocols and costs, and without scaremongering ineffective legislation in this country that is created without scrutiny.