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Thursday, March 28, 2024

Brexit holiday chaos

The Independent reports that millions of Britons are barred from entering the EU by post-Brexit passport rules that are set to cause chaos over the Easter holidays.

The paper says that an estimated 2.4 million travellers have documents that can’t be used for trips to the EU because of the change in expiry requirements:

Since Brexit, British passports must have an issue date less than 10 years old on the day of departure to the EU, and must have at least three months left before their expiry date on the intended day of return. But millions of passports issued prior to September 2018 have longer validity periods.

Analysis by The Independent suggests 200 people every day are falling foul of this rule at UK airports, with thousands expected to see their holidays ruined over the upcoming break.

The rule change follows Britain’s Brexit deal with the EU, which puts the UK into the “third country nationals” category – alongside Venezuela and Samoa – with different expiry rules than when it was a member state. It means Britons are being turned away at airports, ferries and trains bound for Europe even if they have previously travelled to the EU on the same document.

The 17-day Easter break is a particularly busy time for British travellers and an estimated 6.4 million trips will be made from the UK to Europe – 1.6 million over the bank holiday weekend alone.

Longer validity on older passports was a useful way to avoid wasting part of the life of a passport, since holders could renew up to nine months early without losing any time. But after the rules changed, many have been confused into believing they have more time on their current passports to enter the EU than they actually do.

For example, anyone with a passport issued before 28 March 2014 will be prevented from going to Europe today, even if they have many months remaining before expiry. This confusing rule will potentially affect everyone whose passport was issued before September 2018: an estimated 32 million people.

Well, that wasnt on the side of the bus. This is what happens when you pull up the drawbridge and try and go it alone irrespective of the consequences.
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