back to article Ferry giant refuses ID card

An early adopter of the UK's controversial ID card was refused passage when he tried to board a ferry to Rotterdam. Norman Eastwood, from Salford, and his wife Jeanette had booked a passage from Hull with P&O Ferries on Saturday. The ID card, which has been offered on a voluntary basis to the public in Greater Manchester as …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Ha Ha!

    I laughed out loud when I saw this story on the news this morning! Excessive government borrowing? I can think of an obvious place to save £6Bn !!

  2. irish donkey
    Thumb Up

    Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas

    I think some believed even what the Home Office themselves didn't believe.

    ID Card the magic bullet - NOT

  3. Anonymous Coward

    So what kind of nitwit....?

    So what kind of a nitwit goes on holiday with only a brand new ID card which the notoriously stupid port authorities are not going to have seen before at all, and are likely to assume is a fake?

    Yes, that's right, the very same sort of nitwit who will volunteer to be put on all the Big Brother databases the State has invented for the sake of a bit of plastic that does no more than a passport already does.

    What a complete idiot this man is.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. OG 1


    "We had no idea the ID card was being trialled," a P&O spokesman


    Well I'm guessing up north they obviously don't have TV, radio, the

    Internet or newspapers, so the situation was quite understandable.

  5. Number6


    "People have made numerous journeys around Europe using their identity cards and this seems to be an isolated incident."

    I assume they're talking about UK citizens here. If so, how many have ID cards, and have they actually had them long enough to make numerous journeys around Europe? Sounds like someone's pulled out one of next year's excuses a bit early.

  6. Jonathan 17

    Two things...

    First, why did the blithering idiot leave his passport at home? You know its a trial, its unproven and people havent heard of it. Just take your passport along and you can save a lot of trouble.

    Second, why would P&O themselves be in charge of border control? Wouldnt HMRC want to be represented? if not, why didnt they let them know about it?

    Not that, you know, there hasnt been a lot of press about these cards. I mean, obviously nobody at P&O reads either the newspapers or Internet news sites.

  7. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Up


    Serves the New World Order worshippers right.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    come on...

    its a government run things - they are always a cock-up - i cannot wait until the next election, Gordon brown is going to be out of no 10 so fast there will be a small pop as the air rushes in

    1. Keith Oldham

      Re :Two things ..

      Well the Border Agency don't check outward bound passengers at Dover - I presume P&O just wanted proof of identity a la airlines

    2. codemonkey

      Yeah right..

      Like the puppet in charge will make an ounce of difference. Dream on. We're the next folks in charge :) Get it sorted :)

    3. Vincent Ballard


      P&O would check identity documents before you board because if you don't have a valid document when you reach the other end and are denied entry they get to take you back again.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      They didn't believe anyone could be so stupid as to sign up for one but decided to be polite rather than call one of their customers a moron.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ...don't check passports.

    6. Dale Richards


      Tracking the movements of UK citizens throughout the EU? There's a database for that!

  9. LuMan

    Finger Pointing

    "A Home Office spokeswoman said P&O should have known about the ID card because it distributed information in the run-up to public trials. If P&O had paid a refund, then it must have been ferry firm's fault for not knowing, she argued."

    In other words, "It's not our fault! We're the Home Office. It must be them. Must be. No, not us, so DON'T dare blame us!!"

    Interestingly the report does allude to the fact that P&O actually offered tickets as opposed to a refund, so, by the pre-defined rationale, it can't be P&O's fault.


  10. Craig Wallace

    no surprise

    If I had an ID card, I would feel like a second-class citizen too, as it would have been forced upon me on pain of death.

  11. Anonymous Coward


    How daft do you have to be to only take along to the ferry terminal a form of ID that virtually nobody has ever seen before? SURELY you would think to take your passport too, just in case?

    Even if you expect the people at the UK terminal to let you pass, you should expect maybe some issues getting back home again from France or Belgium or wherever you were going?

    Then again, if you are daft enough to voluntarily get an ID card in the first place, that probably answers the rest...

  12. JohnG Silver badge

    ID card? Never heard of it

    It is worrying that people in the travel business and engaged in the checking of documents don't know what does or does not constitute valid identification. One would have thought that they might actually express an interest in things like the ID card fiasco, given its relevance to their work. if they cannot identify a UK ID card, do they really know what the cards from other EU states look like - can they spot a fake?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Its a shame

    P&O didnt follow the link on their website to the government web site where they would have found the following regarding ID cards...

    You can use it like a passport for travel anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Feeling like a second-class citizen...

      ...was re-enforced by the ear-bashing he got from his wife, in the car, on the 100+ mile journey back to Manchester. The man's a muppet to be drawn into the supposed usefulness of the card (well, at least we know he's not a terrorist, since these cards stop terrorists, don't they?) but he should have taken his passport as a back-up. It just needs a couple of minutes thought.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. John G Imrie Silver badge

    People have made numerous journeys around Europe using their identity cards ...

    Err, and how many of those where British with a British ID card?

  15. Anonymous Coward


    "People have made numerous journeys around Europe using their identity cards"

    Really? I find that rather hard to believe given the lack of adoption of these cards. Do we know the actual number of journeys or should this statement read "We have no idea if anybody has successfully used their nothing_to_hide_nothing_to_fear card to make a journey to Europe".

  16. Aaron Harris


    So you plan to go abroad, and the only thing you take is the bit of plastic that fell out of the government cracker?

    Surly it would have been prudent to have taken a passport as back up, just in case, god forbid, the muppets in charge of this country messed up?

  17. Gulfie

    Oh really?

    "People have made numerous journeys around Europe using their identity cards and this seems to be an isolated incident."

    Photos please, Home Office, or it didn't happen. Or at least some damn lies, sorry, statistics. The evidence for this is what exactly? This sounds like a significant percentage of the 2,000 Mancunians are also Europhiles for 'numerous' journeys to have been made. I don't believe it.

  18. Znort666

    The new ID card Scheme...

    will keep you in this country...forever. Great start for the whizz-wonderful ID card scheme.

    Gordon brown was seen on TV today in an interview commenting:

    "All your travel plans are belong to us..."

  19. David Adams



  20. Tim90


    This man had a perfectly good passport and chose to be a smartarse and travel with an experimental piece of plastic. What did he hope to prove, exactly?

    He said he was made to feel "like a second-class citizen" - well I'm not surprised; he was carrying second class travel documents.

    And what of tw@ *volunteers* for an ID card anyway? No sympathy.

  21. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    A pox on Mr Eastwood for even getting an ID card - he got everything he deserved.

  22. Whatithink

    There is no limit to the incompetence behind this system

    Would you take a job working for the identity and passport "service"? Nor would I. They only employ people who are very stupid and nasty, because that's all they can get. And this sort of thing is the result. Why doesn't the government admit it's dead and kill it off, instead of wasting our money keeping these useless people in useless jobs?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    "Made to feel like a second class citizen"

    History has shown that it's the people govenments consider to be "second class" are the ones who get issued with ID cards first.

    On a side note, I noticed that Alan Johnson's ID card has "Specimin" stamped across it, so even HE'S not prepared to get one, and instead leaves it to junior nuMPty Meg Hiller to carry the flag! Obviously he doesn't consider himself "Second class" (or he's got something to hide - this isn't libellous, I'm drawing assumptions from his own propaganda)

    Overall through, great article, keep making the Home Office squirm El Reg, you're doing us all a great service

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Well 0 is a number.

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        article typo

        ... and O is a letter. So why did the article mention "P & 0" at the start of para. 9?

  24. Anonymous Coward

    ID Cards

    We don't want the cards - but why are people getting them and using them (especially if they are voluntary)?

    Fail on the couple for getting the cards (and potentially adding support/kudos to the ID card scheme) and for not bringing passports for backup.

    Lets hope the whole scheme can be scrapped.

  25. Jamie Jones Silver badge


    I'm totally against the ID card, but at least it's helping to disprove the myth that EU citizens need a passport to travel within the EU

  26. frog


    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!

    ha ha!!!

    ha ha ha !

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good old Gov' does it again.

    The words 'Pissup' and 'Brewery' spring to mind. Again.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    ...and ensure that there can be no repeat of it

    So rubber truncheon time in the back room then.

  29. DrunkenMessiah


    It was his own fault for buying into the hype of Big Brother that this card would be the best thing ever.

    So who's betting that Mancs will be taking their ID card AND passport with them whenever they head to a port? Just another useless card to carry around, with the added plus that it'll cost you about 80 quid. YAY!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ID Cards work!

    "He told the BBC that the incident left him feeling humiliated and "like a second-class citizen"

    Isn't that exactly the purpose of them?

    (To be fair I'd feel quite humiliated if it came out that I had voluntarily opted to have an ID card, too)

  31. Anonymous Coward


    "P&O has informed staff at all its UK ports about the ID card in order to prevent a repetition of the incident."

    If someone can create a fake looking one, as P&O have no equipment to verify anything on the card, then anyone can travel. What a wonderful state of affairs! Open borders :) Anyone got a card printer?

  32. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    He told the BBC that the incident left him feeling humiliated and "like a second-class citizen".

    Right. Can we have an icon with that infuriating french knight from Monty Python's Holy Grail, please?

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Serves him right

    For applying for one in the first place!!

    I mean this purely in jest - sorry about the family's wasted journey :(

  34. REMF

    prize idiot

    "Eastwood told the BBC that the incident left him feeling humiliated and "like a second-class citizen".

    He should feel like a first class pillock for being stupid enough to sign-up for an ID card.

    I am glad he feels humiliated, he should. When the cattle rolls up for him he will no doubt climb onto it himself sporting a gay little smile on his face, with nary a concern for where destiny may take him!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if they offered a refund then they must be in the wrong

    This is perfect government thinking, there is no such thing as good will anymore, there is no such thing as discretion and if there is any suspicion then it must be guilt and all the silly databases in UK are there solely to prove this!


    If just once a politician, any politician said "you know what, we screwed up", then faith in politics might just go up a little, but as long as they always stick to the "I'm right it must be someone else" then we just treat them like the liars they are!!!

  36. Tom Kelsall


    EU Citizens don't NEED a passport to travel in the EU. They need a "Recognised form of photo ID" which includes the EU-designed UK Driving Licence. If they didn't accept his ID card they SHOULD have accepted his driving licence. The man's NOT an idiot for believing what the government told him - that his ID card is a valid form of travel ID. It is. The people who screwed up and P&O who failed to adequately disseminate publicly available information about travle ID changes to their gate control staff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      non-eu citizens?

      If that was true then non EU Citizens who need a visa to travel to EU from Britain but have a UK driving license would then be able to disappear in the EU without having to use their passport.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Has any EU Spouse ever got in on an ID card?

        Has any non EU spouse of an EU Citizen EVER got into the UK on their EU ID card?

        In theory they need a passport + visa, and the ID card is a visa equivalent. In practice they get turned away at the Ferry checkin, the operator rings border control, border control says "nah they need a visa, it's called an EEA family permit... here's a web page they can visit to make an appointment..." end of story.

        I know they're supposed to stamp it Code 1A, but I've yet to hear of anyone actually making it close enough to a UK border to be given the entry permission which is why there's always a queue at the UK embassy in Brussels each morning.

        So has anyone ever actually got past that UK border 'VISA' game they play?

    2. JohnG Silver badge

      Passport or national identity card

      "EU Citizens don't NEED a passport to travel in the EU. They need a "Recognised form of photo ID" which includes the EU-designed UK Driving Licence."

      The website says you need a passport or a national identity card, although I know some countries do allow travel on a photocard driving license (I once travelled from Frankfurt to London and back using my UK photocard driving license and German residency permit, having forgotten my passport). Probably not wise to test this in the age of the war on terror.


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