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Barred from Europe: 2.4m Brits caught in post-Brexit red passport chaos

Brexit and beyond

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

With the getaway starting in earnest on Thursday, 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.

One traveller, Ruth Wade, was about to board a flight recently from Manchester airport to Zurich via Brussels for her son’s wedding. But she was turned away because her passport had gone over the 10-year limit.

“I had already checked in for the flight 24 hours previously,” she told The Independent. “I handed over our…

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