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For privacy, I'm not writing why I ask this. Please explain in Simple English. I don't know much British politics or law. When I phoned HM Passport Office, the lady told me this. I asked her to repeat three times...certainly she said this! I Googled, and she appears correct.

The right to British citizenship is nowadays determined by statute law, but the decision whether or not to issue a passport is a prerogative power.

Why this distinction? If UK governments are so worried about British citizens travelling to commit wrongs, and returning to the UK after wrongdoing, then why not make the right to British citizenship a Royal Prerogative too? Then UK governments can way further control entry and exit of British citizens, because the Royal Prerogative will give UK governments more discretion and power to grant or withdraw British citizenship.

Right to cancel passports using the royal prerogative retained | Register | The Times

The executive retained the royal prerogative power to refuse to issue or to cancel a passport issued to a person whom the home secretary was satisfied had been involved in terrorist activities.

The Royal Prerogative

Passport entitlement

There is no statute law governing the grant, refusal of British passports, which are issued in the United Kingdom. However, certain principles apply which are as follows:-

United Kingdom passports are issued in the UK at the discretion of the Home Secretary and in overseas posts at the discretion of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. They are issued in exercise of the Royal Prerogative, which is an executive power that doesn’t require legislation.

There is however, no entitlement to a passport and there are circumstances where passport facilities are refused: -

• Minors whose journey is known to be contrary to a Court Order, to the wishes of a parent or other person or authority awarded custody or care and control, under the provisions of the Children Act 1989, or the Children Act (Scotland) 1995, or the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;
• Where a person is to be arrested under a warrant issued in the United Kingdom or is wanted by the United Kingdom police in suspicion of a serious crime;
• Where a person’s past or proposed activities are so demonstrably undesirable that the grant or continued enjoyment of passport facilities would be contrary to the public interest (these cases are very rare and decisions on this category are made personally by the Home Secretary);
• In the case of UK nationals who have been repatriated from abroad at public expense, until they have repaid their debt.

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    Perhaps this question would be better on Politics. If you have questions about the difference between statutory provisions and royal prerogative, you can ask them on Law. – phoog Feb 14 at 22:43