Brexiteer complains he has to wait in queue at EU airport: ‘This isn’t the Brexit I voted for’

‘I didn’t vote to stand in a queue for over an hour [while] some jobsworth checks our passports’

Conrad Duncan
Friday 14 February 2020 11:19 GMT
Brexit briefing: How long until the end of the transition period?

A Brexiteer who was forced to wait in an immigration queue at an EU airport in Amsterdam has complained that "this isn’t the Brexit I voted for”.

Colin Browning, who described himself as one of the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit, said he was forced to wait for nearly an hour at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol before his passport was checked.

“Absolutely disgusting service at Schiphol airport. 55 minutes we have been stood in the immigration queue. This isn’t the Brexit I voted for,” he wrote on Twitter.

When another user commented on Mr Browning’s post saying he “got what [he] voted for”, the Brexit supporter replied: “I didn’t vote to stand in a queue for over an hour why [sic] some jobsworth checks our passports.

“I spent more time at immigration than I did in the air getting to my destination.”

Although some commenters have suggested that the Twitter post may be a parody, the account has consistently shared posts about Brexit and other issues in recent months which do not appear to be satirical.

Mr Browning has been approached for further comment on his experience at the airport.

Officials at Schiphol have previously warned that people travelling from the UK could expect delays upon arriving in Amsterdam after Britain's exit from the EU.

Analysis by the Dutch government has suggested it could take between an extra 50 minutes to an hour for passengers on busy flights to get through the system due to additional document checks.

However, it is unlikely that current delays have been caused by Brexit as the UK is currently in a transition period with the EU during which travel arrangements will not change until January 2021.

Frances Coppola, a finance journalist for Forbes and the Financial Times, said airports such as Schiphol appeared to have “jumped the gun” by directing British passport holders to non-EU gates but noted that the change would be implemented across all EU countries from next year.

“I'm afraid it is exactly what you voted for. You were told by Remainers that this would be the consequence, but you dismissed their warnings as #ProjectFear,” she wrote in response to the tweet.

A spokesperson for Schiphol told The Independent there had been no changes for British travellers arriving at the airport.

"New Royal Netherlands Marrechaussee staff members were being trained yesterday, leading to longer queues at the passport control than usual," the spokesperson said, adding that there would be no further changes while negotiations are ongoing between the UK and EU.

On Thursday, the UK government confirmed that tough new travel rules will come into effect next year which could mean a traveller whose British passport has almost 15 months to run may be turned away from EU airports.

HM Passport Office has issued a notice stating that British travellers will need at least six months left on their passport to travel to most countries in Europe after Brexit.

However, strict EU rules on passport validity for travellers visiting from outside the bloc will mean that some British travellers may be turned away even though they have many more months left on their passport.

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