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Facts about Travel from the UK to the EU

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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Someone asked about the conditions of travel from the UK to the EU from January 1st.

The detailed answer to that question is here : travelling_en_3.pdf (europa.eu)

Notably --

- for short stays in the Schengen area, UK nationals will be subject to limitations as regards the authorised duration of stay within the Schengen area (with a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period
- for long stays, they will in principle require a residence permit or long stay visa issued by national authorities, under national or Union rule


...

- the purpose (e.g. tourism or work) and the conditions of the intended stay (e.g. accommodation, internal travels
- the existence of sufficient means of subsistence (i.e. having sufficient means to pay for the intended stay and return travel

The EU has exempted, with effect of the end of the transition period, UK nationals from the requirement to be in possession of a short-stay visa when crossing the external borders, where the intended duration of the stay in the Schengen area is up to 90 days within any 180-day period.

A continued exemption from the visa requirement will require that nationals of all EU Member States are equally exempted from UK short-stay visa requirements, following the visa reciprocity principle. In any case, the exemption granted to UK nationals will not apply to non-EU family members of UK nationals, who will be subject or exempted from the visa requirement depending on their nationality in accordance with applicable visa rules (see below

Moreover, as from the end of the transition period, Member States can decide individually whether to require UK nationals planning to carry out a paid activity during their stay to apply for a short-stay visa.


...

Checks on exit include verification of

- the possession of a valid travel document for crossing the external border;
- verification that the person did not exceed the maximum duration of stay in the territory of the Member States;
 
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Not just about schengen, which not all EU members are signatories to, it's also about Covid restrictions, it isn't even about the whole of the EU as there are countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus,and the RoI etc. where the 90 days rule does not apply to UK citizens.
 
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tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Someone asked about the conditions of travel from the UK to the EU from January 1st.

The detailed answer to that question is here : travelling_en_3.pdf (europa.eu)

Notably --

- for short stays in the Schengen area, UK nationals will be subject to limitations as regards the authorised duration of stay within the Schengen area (with a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period
- for long stays, they will in principle require a residence permit or long stay visa issued by national authorities, under national or Union rule


...

- the purpose (e.g. tourism or work) and the conditions of the intended stay (e.g. accommodation, internal travels
- the existence of sufficient means of subsistence (i.e. having sufficient means to pay for the intended stay and return travel

The EU has exempted, with effect of the end of the transition period, UK nationals from the requirement to be in possession of a short-stay visa when crossing the external borders, where the intended duration of the stay in the Schengen area is up to 90 days within any 180-day period.

A continued exemption from the visa requirement will require that nationals of all EU Member States are equally exempted from UK short-stay visa requirements, following the visa reciprocity principle. In any case, the exemption granted to UK nationals will not apply to non-EU family members of UK nationals, who will be subject or exempted from the visa requirement depending on their nationality in accordance with applicable visa rules (see below

Moreover, as from the end of the transition period, Member States can decide individually whether to require UK nationals planning to carry out a paid activity during their stay to apply for a short-stay visa.


...

Checks on exit include verification of

- the possession of a valid travel document for crossing the external border;
- verification that the person did not exceed the maximum duration of stay in the territory of the Member States;
If you are entitled to an Irish passport, I would advise getting one. Thousands of Brits have already done so
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
Some of us an still remember travel before we joined the Common Market/European Economic Community/European Union and we managed pretty well then and this doesn't seem too different. Personally I think that leaving the EU is a massive error but this is not the place to discuss that. Logistics companies and Civil Servants have a long history of making things happen as long as they can keep it away from the politicians. There will be disruption but I have every confidence that my old professional coleagues will sort it out BUT there will be a cost. Fortunately I have a cupboard full of lavatory paper already.
 
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domigee

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Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Some of us an still remember travel before we joined the Common Market/European Economic Community/European Union and we managed pretty well then and this doesn't seem too different. Personally I think that leaving the EU is a massive error but this is not the place to discuss that. Logistics companies and Civil Servants have a long history of making things happen as long as they can keep it away from the politicians. There will be disruption but I have every confidence that my old professional coleagues will sort it out BUT there will be a cost. Fortunately I have a cupboard full of lavatory paper already.
I remember visiting the UK before it joined the Common market and it was a nightmare once in Dover! Had to leave the car whilst it was thoroughly searched - not just ours, all cars.... There were special parking spaces for it but of course there were queues. We were questioned about how much money we had, what we intended to do, etc. I was a young teen-ager then but I have never forgotten! In other countries (Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy) you only had to show your passport at the border.
 
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Funny I had exactly the same experience twice, once in France in Calais before we even boarded the ferry, which I found mighty strange only time it ever happened, and then crossing over from France to Spain there was a 3 hour delay the Spanish Border police had decided to practically strip every car crossing that day.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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Some of us an still remember travel before we joined the Common Market/European Economic Community/European Union and we managed pretty well then and this doesn't seem too different.
The major difference for UK citizens with those days is that you could stay in most countries for up to 6 months without having to seek residency there -- although the laws did vary in this respect from one country to another.

The only real positives as far as travel goes is that duty free shopping returns on January 1st, and the absence of any visa requirements for UK nationals.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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I remember visiting the UK before it joined the Common market and it was a nightmare once in Dover! Had to leave the car whilst it was thoroughly searched - not just ours, all cars....
Sounds like you were unlucky, as that seems quite unusual.

There may have been something like a terrorist alert or an active smuggling ring they were trying to catch.

But it's true that the Dover-Calais route could sometimes be fairly rotten.

Folkestone-Boulogne was always better, even though transport connections at both ends are somewhat inferior, but sadly that route has been discontinued.
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
For many years I worked in pan European logistics and it was a given that whatever regulations were introduced the UK would "Gold Plate" them and make them less workable for the UK. Personally I may have been lucky with border crossings in mainland Europe but, yes, getting into the UK could be tiresome although I developed a ploy together round this which generally worked.
 
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Mark McCarthy

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Am I correct in thinking that despite residing in the UK, I can still travel as any other EU citizen using my Irish passport? Or does residency in itself imply travel restrictions?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Am I correct in thinking that despite residing in the UK, I can still travel as any other EU citizen using my Irish passport? Or does residency in itself imply travel restrictions?
Really, I would say again that much of this discussion is pointless at this moment in time because both the future rules in January 2021 concerning the situation after the end of the post-Brexit transition period as well as concerning COVID-19 are unclear and/or changing all the time: at EU level, at the national level of each EU country and even at regional levels.

BTW, I, too had my car checked in Dover from top to bottom and from start to end. It had to do with terrorism threats. The Red Brigades, the Red Army Faction, the IRA, ETA, and other more recent madmen ... and that’s only in my lifetime and within Europe.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I can only think of one important thing right now if you want to travel from the UK to a EU country from 1 January 2021 onwards and if you live in the UK: Your EHIC (European Health Insurance card) expires on 31 December 2020 and you are advised to buy appropriate travel insurance.

Otherwise, don’t expect to see and experience much difference: you will have to queue in a different lane at border control when entering or exiting the EU and you will get a Schengen Entry/Exit stamp in your UK passport.

As to EHIC, there is an exemption for EU nationals who live in the UK and have settled status under the new laws but you need to have that status established. Merely having a second (EU) passport on the side is not enough. The UK government will provide you with a new kind of EHIC card “in due course”, as it says on their website. Apparently they are not quite ready yet. But there’s plenty of time, of course, nineteen days minus three Saturdays, three Sundays and a couple of Xmas days when most people are also off work and offices are closed.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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Am I correct in thinking that despite residing in the UK, I can still travel as any other EU citizen using my Irish passport? Or does residency in itself imply travel restrictions?
Yes -- though you will have passport controls etc entering any EU country from the UK except Ireland.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Am I correct in thinking that despite residing in the UK, I can still travel as any other EU citizen using my Irish passport? Or does residency in itself imply travel restrictions?
It depends. The EU’s travel restrictions/ban of entry into the EU are a recommendation. Each country can follow it, make it stronger, make it weaker, or ignore it. Spain for example followed it. I checked the relevant Spanish law; it is valid until 31 December 2020 - nothing decided yet for later.

The EU recommends that travel restrictions/ban of entry into EU do not apply to anyone who has a passport of an EU country, no matter where they live or from where they want to travel into the EU.

The EU list of recommended “safe countries” is reviewed every two weeks. The next reviews are scheduled for 16 December and 30 December.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Kathar1na, this is not a thread about Covid restrictions -- it's about general travel rules from the UK to the EU from 1st January onwards in relation to the UK no longer being a Member State of the EU.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Kathar1na, this is not a thread about Covid restrictions -- it's about general travel rules from the UK to the EU from 1st January onwards in relation to the UK no longer being a Member State of the EU.
I must have misunderstood a question. I thought the poster had asked about travel restrictions and whether they would apply to his specific situation or not.

PS: I’ve now reworked and shortened my earlier reply and hope that it’s helpful.
 
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If you are entitled to an Irish passport, I would advise getting one. Thousands of Brits have already done so
Be very careful. It can take up to a year... and your existing passport languishes over in the West of Ireland meantime!!!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Some of us an still remember travel before we joined the Common Market/European Economic Community/European Union and we managed pretty well then and this doesn't seem too different. Personally I think that leaving the EU is a massive error but this is not the place to discuss that. Logistics companies and Civil Servants have a long history of making things happen as long as they can keep it away from the politicians. There will be disruption but I have every confidence that my old professional coleagues will sort it out BUT there will be a cost. Fortunately I have a cupboard full of lavatory paper already.
Victorian London managed pretty well with horse drawn cabs and horse drawn trams but that doesn't mean to say they'd be acceptable now, does it?
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Funny I had exactly the same experience twice, once in France in Calais before we even boarded the ferry, which I found mighty strange only time it ever happened, and then crossing over from France to Spain there was a 3 hour delay the Spanish Border police had decided to practically strip every car crossing that day.
I remember driving into Spain at the end of August when the whole of France seemed to be trying to complete the "retour" through the one border crossing at Le Perthus. Half a dozen cars trying to enter Spain and a gazillion trying to get out - chaos!

As an aside, Google has decided that I am currently in France (I'm not, sadly) and is offering searches in French. It did a similar thing a few months ago when it decided I was in Sweden. Perhaps it thinks I should get out more?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
The major difference for UK citizens with those days is that you could stay in most countries for up to 6 months without having to seek residency there -- although the laws did vary in this respect from one country to another.

The only real positives as far as travel goes is that duty free shopping returns on January 1st, and the absence of any visa requirements for UK nationals.
Duty free shopping returns - can't wait to see the look on people's faces when they find out that's 5 crates of beer and 200 cigarettes per adult. Have you seen how much people try and bring back on a day trip to the Calais wine warehouses?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Yes -- though you will have passport controls etc entering any EU country from the UK except Ireland.
Kathar1na, this is not a thread about Covid restrictions -- it's about general travel rules from the UK to the EU from 1st January onwards in relation to the UK no longer being a Member State of the EU.
But since there will be an additional burden on entry after 1st January because of the pandemic "Covid rules" apply - even if only temporarily.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Duty free shopping returns - can't wait to see the look on people's faces when they find out that's 5 crates of beer and 200 cigarettes per adult. Have you seen how much people try and bring back on a day trip to the Calais wine warehouses?
And 18 litres (24 standard bottles) of wine.

What is odd though ... somehow I cannot visualise that I can fit 24 bottles of wine into my backpack. Which claims to have a volume of 36 litres. So ... 48 bottles max??? 🤭
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Get a bigger pack.
Theoretical question. I never buy wine in Calais. In fact, I am currently waiting for a few bottles of Rioja to be delivered to my front door ... in fond memory of a most enjoyable meal in Santo Domingo de la Calzada where we had wine from the same vineyard.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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Doesn't everybody entering the EU through an airport have to go through passport control?
But not everyone traveling from one EU Member State to another does, as many of us who have walked from SJPP to Roncesvalles can testify. :cool:

A clarification though -- The UK has never been and now never will be a part of the Schengen area ; but as the fact was, passport controls on the French side of the Channel ferry links have always been anything between basically absent and systematic depending on a wide range of unpredictable transient factors.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2012
But not everyone traveling from one EU Member State to another does, as many of us who have walked from SJPP to Roncesvalles can testify. :cool:
So far as I recall there ain't no airport between StJ & Roncesvalles. As Jeff said "everybody entering the EU" needs to go through passport control. If you are already in the EU, France, and cross the border into Spain, you were already in the EU. No border control 'cos there ain't no geo-political border. I've crossed the Franco/Spanish border when it was a border, having been checked that I didn't have a rucksack full of fags or Bayonne Ham I was sent on my way.

I don't really understand why people are trying to make meat out of SPAM. Reality is what it is. The rules are what they are. Comply or don't play the game. Where is the problem?
 
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David61

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Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
Theoretical question. I never buy wine in Calais. In fact, I am currently waiting for a few bottles of Rioja to be delivered to my front door ... in fond memory of a most enjoyable meal in Santo Domingo de la Calzada where we had wine from the same vineyard.
Morrisons had a Rioja which I really enjoyed on Camino last year, usually £11 a bottle but on offer three for £18. I do love a bargain!!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
But not everyone traveling from one EU Member State to another does, as many of us who have walked from SJPP to Roncesvalles can testify. :cool:

A clarification though -- The UK has never been and now never will be a part of the Schengen area ; but as the fact was, passport controls on the French side of the Channel ferry links have always been anything between basically absent and systematic depending on a wide range of unpredictable transient factors.
You've never taken the Channel Tunnel then? There's French staff in Kent and British staff in France. Your details are checked by both countries on both sides of the Channel before boarding the train.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
To put it simply: all my life, there have been passport controls when I travelled from France to the UK or from the UK to France.

First, because everyone controlled passports.

Then because the UK was not part of Schengen, unlike France.

In future because the UK is not part of Schengen and not part of the EU, unlike France.

Throughout the whole time, I was occasionally quizzed as to why I wanted to enter the UK and how long I was planning to stay.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Btw, controlling people at the border isn’t the big issue. That’s easily sorted: a few signs will be changed at airports and seaports at 11 pm (UK local time) on New Year’s Eve, and that’s it. You will barely notice the difference on your way to your next Camino. Controlling goods at the border, and all that it entails, that is the big headache.
 

JabbaPapa

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You've never taken the Channel Tunnel then? There's French staff in Kent and British staff in France. Your details are checked by both countries on both sides of the Channel before boarding the train.
Some people appear to think that this sort of detail contradicts what I wrote.
 
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Jeff Crawley

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Year of past OR future Camino
2018
To put it simply: all my life, there have been passport controls when I travelled from France to the UK or from the UK to France.

First, because everyone controlled passports.

Then because the UK was not part of Schengen, unlike France.

In future because the UK is not part of Schengen and not part of the EU, unlike France.

Throughout the whole time, I was occasionally quizzed as to why I wanted to enter the UK and how long I was planning to stay.
On returning home to the unwelcoming faces of Border Control at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted I have often wondered why I am bothering to come home and whether it was worth staying ;)
 

Bristle Boy

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
On returning home to the unwelcoming faces of Border Control at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted I have often wondered why I am bothering to come home and whether it was worth staying ;)
The attitude of immigration and customs officials is universal, it comes with the territory. I still have night sweats of my experience on entering the U.S.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Grumpy looking Border Control, "Where have you been?".
Tinker, "Abroad".
"Where are you going?"
"Home."
"I can make you cooperate."
"Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary."

Well, you've got to try & get a smile out of 'em haven't you ;)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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Grumpy looking Border Control, "Where have you been?".
Tinker, "Abroad".
"Where are you going?"
"Home."
"I can make you cooperate."
"Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary."

Well, you've got to try & get a smile out of 'em haven't you ;)
Best not try that one at US border control ...
 
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Kathar1na

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In my albeit limited experience, border and customs officials tend to treat their own lot, returning from abroad to their home country, somewhat better than the foreigners who want to get in ... 🤭😳.
 
D

Deleted member 76633

Guest
From personal experience I can confirm that they have zero sense of humour.

I must have found the one that did. After spending 3 hours at JFK we were asked what we were going to do. In all innocence, we said "leaf peeping" which we thought was a widely understood term. He just laughed and waived us through.

It's all relative though having been through Moscow (during the USSR period). It was like something from one of those cold-war thrillers.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Grumpy looking Border Control, "Where have you been?".
Tinker, "Abroad".
"Where are you going?"
"Home."
"I can make you cooperate."
"Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary."

Well, you've got to try & get a smile out of 'em haven't you ;)
Stansted Airport, after having queued for over an hour only to have my ePassport rejected by the machine I then queued for another 45 minutes to be processed by a Border Control Official:

Him: "And where have you just come from?"
Me: "That queue over there"
Him: "No, where have you flown in from?"
Me: "To be quite honest I've been queueing here for so long I forgot."
Him: slaps passport on counter and calls out "Next!"
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
He just laughed and waived us through.
I wouldn't conclude that he understood. I have watched a family member go through border control, answering the officer's question with a completely irrelevant and nonsensical answer (due to misunderstanding). The officer cheerfully stamped the passport anyway. I think it was a case of him thinking "this idiot makes no sense, but I've met my quota for the day so I'll let him through."
 
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I'd love to leave the UK for the EU sadly things get in the way . . . https://tinyurl.com/ycxcxrs9

However it does give me a chance to brag, in 1999 I was the engineer responsible for the construction of the national cycle routes out of Dover:

View attachment 89526

I think they are the only things I ever built that are visible on Google Earth!
Oh dear, I think I have heard this somewhere before - show us the marks!😇
 
D

Deleted member 76633

Guest
However it does give me a chance to brag, in 1999 I was the engineer responsible for the construction of the national cycle routes out of Dover:

Where's the POMA for the climb up to there?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
I wouldn't conclude that he understood. I have watched a family member go through border control, answering the officer's question with a completely irrelevant and nonsensical answer (due to misunderstanding). The officer cheerfully stamped the passport anyway. I think it was a case of him thinking "this idiot makes no sense, but I've met my quota for the day so I'll let him through."
My wife who worked in Heathrow said you know when you've annoyed people at Immigration when you hear the slap of rubber gloves on wrists coming from two officers walking towards you.
 

pelerine

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary."
Did you actually read this to the official, Tinker? I wonder how many holders of the blue passport bothered to read it. Have not got my red one at hand right now to see whether it is there.

But I have been fascinated by this sentence ever since I got my first British passport after swearing eternal allegiance to the Sovereign over a cup of tea in the Sovereign’s justice’s of the peace kitchen when at last she had finished washing the kitchen floor. That was in Manchester in the early sixties. What a phantastic country to marry into!

Miles off thread, I am sorry!
 
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Bristle Boy

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2022
Did you actually read this to the official, Tinker? I wonder how many holders of the blue passport bothered to read it. Have not got my red one at hand right now to see whether it is there.

But I have been fascinated by this sentence ever since I got my first British passport after swearing eternal allegiance to the Sovereign over a cup of tea in the Sovereign’s justice’s of the peace kitchen when at last she had finished washing the kitchen floor. That was in Manchester in the early sixties. What a phantastic country to marry into!

Miles off thread, I am sorry!

Bless you Pelerine for that final comment. It made my day.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Did you actually read this to the official, Tinker? I wonder how many holders of the blue passport bothered to read it. Have not got my red one at hand right now to see whether it is there.
Read to the unsmiling official leaning out of the window of his little hut at Coquelles in the interminable queue for Eurotunnel. And yes the same request still features on the first page of a red passport as it did in the blue.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Stop the presses:

News Flash . . . . Covid variant flares in Kent . . . . Europe cut off!

(There is a story about a front page headline in the London Times which stated: "Fog in the Channel - Europe cut off!" - except in those days the front page was confined to personal advertisements and notices)
 

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