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BREXIT

Brexit: EU asks border police not to stamp passports of British residents

The European Commission has asked border police from member states across the bloc not to stamp the passports of those British nationals protected by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Brexit: EU asks border police not to stamp passports of British residents
A person holds up a British National passport (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP)

Britons living across the EU have long been concerned about the knock-on effect of their passport being wrongly stamped when travelling in and out of the Schengen zone.

While British officials at embassies across Europe have repeatedly stressed the passports of those Britons protected by the Brexit deal should not be stamped, those instructions appear not to have filtered through to border guards.

The erroneous stamps have left many passport holders resident in the EU worrying about being accused of overstaying the 90-day limit in their host country.

This week the EU Commission has stressed that passports should not be stamped, but reassured Britons that if they are there will be no negative consequences.

“The Commission recommends – notably as regards beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement – that Member State border guards refrain from stamping. In any case, should stamping nevertheless take place, such stamp cannot affect the length of the authorised long-term stay,” read their latest guidance.

“EU law does not prevent border guards from stamping upon entry to and exit from the Schengen area of travel documents of United Kingdom nationals who are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement who are in possession of a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen Member State. The same applies to their family members in the same situation.”

The Commission added that the usual limitation of a stay of 90 days in a 180 days’ period in the Schengen area does not apply to Britons covered by the Withdrawal Agreement “irrespective of whether their passport has been stamped or not”.

But it reminded Britons that they only have the right to stay in their country of residence. If they travel within the Schengen area to another EU country they are subject to the 90 day rule. 

It recommended Britons “proactively present” their post-Brexit residency cards  – if they have one – at the border to prove their status. However not all Britons in the EU have post-Brexit residency cards because they are only compulsory in certain countries.

Britons in countries such as Spain and Italy, where the cards are not obligatory but available, are urged to apply as soon as possible. 

Those who don’t have the cards are told to use any documentation “that credibly proves that the holders exercised the right to move and reside freely in the host Member State before the end of the transition period and continue to reside there.”

“Documents indicating the address of the person can show continued residence after the end of the transition period. “

Member comments

  1. It would be useful if the article contained a link to the original document

  2. This is a useful article! Do you have a link to the Commission’s communication?

    [Slight correction to the title: WA beneficiaries are not only British]

  3. So what is a ‘post-Brexit residency card’ in, say, Spain? Is it the TIE or NIE? What if one does not wish to be a resident there but needs the ‘padron’, e.g. to register for local Town Hall services?
    Does the ‘padron’ imply residency? Hopefully not, but a lot of this in EU countries (such as Spain) seems a complete muddle!

  4. I applied for my post Brexit residency card (carta di soggiorno elettronica) here in Italy over 5 months ago and have heard or received nothing back yet. On a couple of occasions when I have asked border control not to stamp my passport, or struggled to stop them in time, they have got annoyed and said that they would stamp irrespective.

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SPORT

How will the Tour de France affect traffic and travel in Denmark?

The 2022 Tour de France starts on Friday, with the much-anticipated Danish Grand Départ setting off from Copenhagen and making its way across Denmark.

How will the Tour de France affect traffic and travel in Denmark?

The race will begin in Copenhagen and spend several days in Denmark crossing islands before riders will be transferred back to France for the race to continue from the north east of the country.

The Tour usually includes at least one stage outside France, but Covid travel restrictions meant the 2021 race was held entirely in France, apart from a brief trip into the neighbouring micro-state of Andorra.

Copenhagen was originally scheduled to host the 2021 Grand Départ.

The race usually starts on a Saturday, but next year will begin on Friday, July 1st, in order to allow time for the rest days and transfer of all teams back from Denmark to France.

READ ALSO: MAP: What you need to know about the 2022 Tour de France (and Denmark)

The Danish portion of the tour is as follows:

Stage 1 – July 1st
Copenhagen – Copenhagen – 13km (time trial)

Stage 2 – July 2nd
Roskilde – Nyborg – 199km

Stage 3 – July 3rd
Vejle – Sønderborg – 182km

Stage 1: Copenhagen

Friday July 1st sees a short 13 kilometre time trial on the streets of Copenhagen mark the beginning of the Grand Depart. Some road closures can be expected as early as Monday June 27th and throughout the week leading up to the event as the city prepares for the arrival of the Tour. As such, both traffic and parking may be congested.

The central H.C. Andersens Boulevard will be closed to traffic with parking areas blocked off in the start and finish area of the route. These closures will be in place from June 27th until Monday July 4th at 5am.

The route of the time trial itself will be closed to traffic from the early hours of July 1st, while parking will not be permitted on the route from the morning of the preceding day, Thursday June 30th.

Spectators and residents in Copenhagen are therefore asked to use public transportation to both access and travel within the city. It will not be possible to drive into central Copenhagen.

Normal traffic is expected from Monday July 4th.

Stage 2: Roskilde – Nyborg

Saturday July 2nd will see the Tour cross Zealand and eventually make its way to the island of Funen across the Great Belt Bridge.

The following municipalities can expect traffic and delays throughout the day, with motorists advised to check their routes and leave early if necessary: Roskilde, Lejre, Odsherred, Holbæk, Kalundborg, Korsør and Nyborg.

Local information about road closures during the Tour de France can be found via the relevant municipality websites. Here is the page for Roskilde, for example.

Detailed information about the second stage can be found on the race organiser’s website.

The Great Belt Bridge will be closed completely to cars from 1pm to 6pm on July 2nd, with adjacent motorway sections closing at 12:30 pm. The motorway will be closed between the Nyborg V (Funen) and Slagelse V (Zealand) junctions.

Motorists are therefore strongly advised to avoid travelling between east and west Denmark on July 2nd and to instead plan their journeys for Thursday, Friday or Sunday. Rail traffic across the bridge will not be affected, however.

Ferry connections between Jutland and Zealand, such as those from Aarhus and Ebeltoft to Sjællands Odde, are expected to book up early for July 2nd.

READ ALSO: Denmark warned of traffic and airport congestion as school holidays begin

Stage 3: Vejle – Sønderborg

Fjord city Vejle, with its steep roads and hilly countryside, will challenge the riders on stage 3 before they head south towards Sønderborg near the German border. Both towns can expect considerable queuing and extended journey times.

Passengers travelling through Billund Airport should allow extra travel time on July 3rd due to possible delays linked to the road closures and congestion around Vejle.

In addition to Vejle and Sønderborg, the Kolding, Haderslev and Aabenraa municipalities will all have road closures to make way for the Tour competitors.

Local information about road closures during the Tour de France can be found via the relevant municipality websites. Here is the page for Vejle, for example.

More information about the third stage of the Tour can be found here.

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