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Passport rules: Urgent warning for British red passport holders at risk of post-Brexit travel rules for Europe

Brexit and beyond

An estimated 32 million British passport holders could potentially fall foul of post-Brexit rules on validity for travel to the European Union, it has emerged.

In the Brexit deal, the UK negotiated for British travellers to become “third-country nationals” – in line with citizens from dozens of other countries such as Venezuela and Samoa.

European Union nations do not allow such travellers to enter on a passport issued over 10 years ago. The same applies in the wider Schengen Area, including Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. UK visitors to Ireland are not subject to the restriction.

The Passport Office’s pre-Brexit policy was to issue British travel documents valid for up to 10 years and nine months, taking account of the unspent time on a previous passport. That posed no problem while the UK was a member of the EU, but since the Brexit agreement took effect hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have lost their holidays because of inadvertently breaching the rules.

Airport sources contacted by The Independent indicate that, on a typical day, 200 outbound travellers are prevented from departing because of EU rules on issue and expiry dates. The rejection typically happens at check in or the departure gate.

The BBC cited the case of Nathan Barnes, a 31-year-old paramedic from Norwich, who was refused boarding on a flight to France.

He was on his way to Limoges with his fiancé to visit family. Despite checking in for the flight online, he was stopped at the departure gate.

“My passport had been issued more than 10 years previously,” he said. “They were very matter of fact about it, they just said ‘sorry you can’t board, off you pop’.”

“I was gutted, surprised really. We had checked in online and thought it was fine,” he added.

The BBC’s Marc Ashdown has analysed Home Office figures on passports issued up to September 2018 that suggest 32 million people could potentially fall foul of EU rules.

The Schengen Area also requires UK travellers to have at least three months remaining before the expiry date on their passport on the day of departure from the European zone.

The Independent has asked all the major airlines if they could help identify potential problems earlier by requesting passport data and assessing validity. Most say that the issue is too complex, but Tui is working…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…