Barred from Europe: 2.4m Brits caught in post-Brexit crimson passport chaos | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Millions of Britons are barred from getting into the EU by post-Brexit passport guidelines which are set to trigger chaos over the Easter holidays.

With the getaway beginning in earnest on Thursday, an estimated 2.4 million travellers have paperwork that may’t be used for journeys to the EU due to the change in expiry necessities.

Since Brexit, British passports will need to have a problem date lower than 10 years outdated on the day of departure to the EU, and will need to have not less than three months left earlier than their expiry date on the meant day of return. But tens of millions of passports issued previous to September 2018 have longer validity durations.

Analysis by The Independent suggests 200 folks on daily basis are falling foul of this rule at UK airports, with 1000’s anticipated to see their holidays ruined over the upcoming break.

The rule change follows Britain’s Brexit cope with the EU, which places the UK into the “third country nationals” class – alongside Venezuela and Samoa – with totally different expiry guidelines than when it was a member state. It means Britons are being turned away at airports, ferries and trains certain for Europe even when they’ve beforehand travelled to the EU on the identical doc.

The 17-day Easter break is a very busy time for British travellers and an estimated 6.4 million journeys will likely be comprised of the UK to Europe – 1.6 million over the financial institution vacation weekend alone.

Longer validity on older passports was a helpful option to keep away from losing a part of the lifetime of a passport, since holders might renew as much as 9 months early with out shedding any time. But after the principles modified, many have been confused into believing they’ve extra time on their present passports to enter the EU than they really do.

For instance, anybody with a passport issued earlier than 28 March 2014 will likely be prevented from going to Europe as we speak, even when they’ve many months remaining earlier than expiry. This complicated rule will probably have an effect on everybody whose passport was issued earlier than September 2018: an estimated 32 million folks.

One traveller, Ruth Wade, was about to board a flight lately from Manchester airport to Zurich through Brussels for her son’s marriage ceremony. But she was turned away as a result of her passport had gone over the 10-year restrict.

“I had already checked in for the flight 24 hours previously,” she instructed The Independent. “I handed over our passports at the desk. The woman from Brussels Airlines just looked at me and said, ‘You can’t travel on this passport, it’s expired.’

“My reply was: ‘No it hasn’t, it doesn’t expire until October 2024.’ She then went on to say, the expiry date doesn’t matter, it’s 10 years from the issue date.”

The passport had handed the 10-year mark by a matter of days.

“ I was distraught,” Ms Wade stated. “She looked at my husband and said, ‘You can go but she can’t.’

“She didn’t offer any advice other than saying it had been all over the news. I don’t listen to or watch the news and I wouldn’t be taking any interest in a passport issue as my passport had seven months validity left on it.”

Ms Wade was in a position to guide a slot for a fast-track appointment at HM Passport Office in Liverpool, requiring a lodge keep and new tickets.

“We need to get Zurich to see our son who is getting married. We have had to rebook flights, lost money on the initial flights. Upset and frustrated doesn’t even come close.”

Official knowledge exhibits that 706,000 passports have been issued by HM Passport Office in March 2014. According to an Independent estimate, about 500,000 are grownup passports and 80 per cent of these will likely be renewals which might have had the additional months added to them.

With a lifetime of about 10 years and 6 months for these 400,000 passports, and thus a six-month window for breaching the rule, round 2.4 million passports might be affected.

Airports together with Edinburgh, Newcastle and Bristol are already predicting their busiest-ever Easter, with 2 million folks anticipated to fly from British airports between Good Friday and Easter Monday, most of them to the EU and wider Schengen space.

Geneva routes will likely be extraordinarily busy with winter sports activities followers, whereas Malaga, Alicante, Faro and Tenerife are the main spring sunshine vacation locations.

Among metropolis breaks, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and Rome are the preferred. Dubai, Orlando and New York are the important thing longer-haul locations.

Proportionately there are considerably extra household European journeys over Easter: Turkey’s principal season has but to get going, and Egypt just isn’t particularly widespread for brief holidays because of the lengthy flight time.

Airlines insist it’s the passenger’s duty to make sure they adjust to the immigration guidelines of their vacation spot. Travel insurers is not going to pay out for losses associated to passport validity points.

A authorities spokesperson stated: “It is quick and easy to renew your passport online or at a Post Office.

“We advise all customers not to book travel without a passport that meets their travel needs.”