The British authorities have recently raised concerns over the issuing of permits to travel rather than passports. The issue came to light when a foreign citizen arrived in Weymouth with a permit to leave Jersey but no passport. Although the person was from a ‘friendly’ country, it brought the whole question of how to monitor and control travel between the Island and UK mainland during wartime.
As a result, the War Office is proposing that Jersey cease the issuing of permits and instead ensure that everyone leaving the Island has a valid passport that includes a photograph. The suggested change is causing some local confusion however. It is not clear whether this requirement relates to foreign citizens travelling between Jersey and the UK or extends to Islanders as well.
With the Great Western Railways refusing to allow passengers on board their ships without passports, the Lieutenant Governor has asked for clarification on the matter. As British subjects, Islanders are used to being able to travel to the UK without needing a passport. And, as General Rochfort has explained, having to issue a passport to everyone wanting to leave will be a very time consuming activity.