After airline workers believe pre-Brexit ID documents are invalid, the British embassy says ‘this should not happen’
On Saturday night, British nationals preparing to travel to Spain were prevented from boarding a BA/Iberia joint flight to Madrid after airline workers reported that their pre-Brexit residency papers were no longer valid. A total of nine people, including journalist and photographer Max Duncan, who was told that his green residence permit was no longer valid, were not allowed to board at Heathrow, even though both the Spanish and British governments said that both the old Foreign National Identification (NIE) document and the new Foreign National Identity (TIE) card are still valid. “This should not happen, Spanish authorities have reconfirmed this evening that the green residence document is valid for return to Spain as stated in our travel advice,” officials said via the @UKinSpain account of the embassy. Duncan tweeted in response, “Thank you @ukinspain for confirming the green card is valid, that Spain has also confirmed this and that this should not happen. ” HTTPS:/t.co/dLWW0pMBFO pic.twitter.com/ZXAwmRHIAV- Max Duncan (@maximduncan) January 2, 2021 Needs clarification
After being told they had the wrong residency document and wanted the TIE card, Duncan interviewed a couple at the airport who said they were “absolutely gutted”. “We will go home.
Spain is our home,’ said the unidentified woman, adding that her husband was running out of vital drugs. Another couple said they were told that the green NIE card was no longer valid at the check-in counter. When they contacted the British Embassy, staff told them they had received several calls about the problem. “confused and worried” by British citizens in Spain about the future after BrexitRead moreIt wasn’t just the flight to Madrid that was impacted.
A individual with the @daisyqueen handle tweeted, “Influenced by my daughter and her partner.”
“It affected my daughter and her partner. 12 hours at Heathrow – denied travel, original BA flight to Barcelona, then they were told they could travel tonight, so they waited, only to be denied as BA says passengers were brought back from Barcelona. “Last year, the Spanish government announced that British citizens in Spain would be provided after Brexit with a photo ID card, replacing the previous resi-card. On its Facebook page on Saturday night, the British Embassy said it had received several messages from British citizens in Spain who did not have the documents they wanted yet.
In the cases of people who have not yet been able to collect their TIE card, students who need to resume their studies, and others who may care for elderly or vulnerable family members, it said it has demanded “more flexibility” from Spain. There are around 300,000 British citizens in Spain, although the number could be much higher as many live outside the Spanish system.