Planeload Of Brits Arriving In Spain Were Deported Because Of Brexit

Ever since the idea for a Brexit referendum was hatched at a Chicago O’Hare Pizzaeria Uno it seemed like a bad idea. Sure, Europe is overregulated but those favoring Brexit were no less inclined towards an activist government. And with greater barriers for trade and immigration it didn’t seem likely the move would promote Britain’s prosperity.

That was before the pandemic, and we should all question what we thought about Brexit. I’ve had to revise my own priors as Britain has outperformed the rest of Europe coming out of Covid-19.

U.K. bioscience gave us dexamethasone as a Covid-19 treatment and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The government there delayed second doses to get jabs into as many arms as possible, as quickly as possible. They’ve pushed aggressively on home testing for the virus, and allowed human challenge trials to identify viable treatments more quickly.

Despite a health care system that was overburdened even before the pandemic, the U.K. has performed well by moving separately from Europe.

Even this chart on doses administered per 100 people understates British progress because by delaying second doses they have provided vaccines to far more people than countries following strict dosing regimens.

Prevalence of Covid-19 in the U.K. – home to the more infectious B.1.1.7 variant – has plummeted even as it’s spiked elsewhere and France has gone back into lockdown.

Still, there are real costs to Brexit as 40 British expats was sent back to Manchester after the British citizens residing in Spain were rejected for entry into Alicante last week.

Despite Brexit, residents of E.U nations should be permitted to stay under the Withdrawal Agreement. However Spain’s new residency document – the TIE or Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero – is a biometric card for foreigners living in-country. Without that card, the Brits were turned away.

They claimed that when they arrived at the terminal on March 29, they were greeted with a sign which read: “No tie card, no entry.”

…Speaking to Olive Press he said: “People with letters from Alicante Foreigners Office asking them to collect their residency cards were turned away…what more proof do you need of residency?

…In a statement, the [British] embassy said Brits planning to travel from the UK to Spain must make sure they meet the requirements to leave the UK and also to enter Spain.

I’ll take better access to vaccines if it means a few immigration headaches, but it’s still very much a shame to see increased border headaches stemming from Brexit and that reminds me of my reticence to see Britain exit the E.U. in the first place.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The verdict on Brexit won’t be determined by vaccine rollout or by border formalities. The proof of the pudding will be whether the UK’s growth rate outstrips the EU’s as it aligns more with faster growing nations and regions, or whether it slips behind as its relatively small size makes it a semi-irrelevant bystander. Only time will tell.

  2. “U.K. bioscience gave us dexamethasone as a Covid-19 treatment …”

    dexamethasone has been around for decades and is commonly used in respiratory infections (recall covid is a vascular virus not a pulmonary virus).

  3. Ironically the main cheerleaders for Brexit were expat retirees living in Spain, France, Portugal etc and likeminded elderly dummies living in England.
    ‘Be careful what you wish for’ was the advise of the more sane citizens, but they were happy to ignore it.
    Now it’s all so unfair, blah, blah blah….
    How sad, too bad! hahaha!

  4. “it seemed like a bad idea. Sure, Europe is overregulated but those favoring Brexit were no less inclined towards an activist government. And with greater barriers for trade and immigration it didn’t seem likely the move would promote Britain’s prosperity.”

    Utterly pig-ignorant. You are totally unqualified and uninformed to judge.

  5. @Gary: ” there are several things that might have worked and didn’t, think hydroxychloroquine.” You should read the evidence. You appear to be relying on the U.K.’s Lancet, which claimed hydroxychloroquine did not work based on the work of a comedy troupe.

    The actual evidence on hydroxychloroquine is that it can be helpful in certain circumstances (something true of pretty much all effective treatments in all of time). That was why so many physicians self-prescribed it and used it off-label.

    You are a travel blogger. You know about points and miles. You are not an epidemiologist or an economist. Stick to the knitting or you just sound ridiculous..

  6. @Glenn:

    “Ironically the main cheerleaders for Brexit were expat retirees living in Spain, France, Portugal etc …”

    Totally wrong. You ignoramus.

    “and…elderly dummies living in England”
    Like the former chairman of the Bank of England? Hundreds and thousads of business owners? Academics?

    The decision was made in a referendum, you imbecile, and Brexit supporters won. Get over it. You lost. The UK is out, forever, and the EU is collapsing anyway. They can’t even distribute an injection.

  7. L3 – it inhibited part of the virus but didn’t from binding to cells.or replicating. It looked promising but ultimately wasn’t successful even if some patients given the drug recovered.

  8. I can’t believe how rude L3 is. Completely uncalled for incivility.

    @NB says it it all–only time will tell if Brexit was a good or bad idea. Certainly there are some pros, and there are some cons. Which has more weight on the balance scale?

    With their vaccine program the UK has gained an advantage to recover faster than the rest of Europe. Whether this is enough to jettison the “semi-irrelevant bystander” to a leader-in-the-pack role is indeterminable at this point.

    Sign me, Wishfully Optimistic but Realistically Doubtful

  9. @KimmieA: Don’t forget to mention how insulting this is, or people will think you are an unprincipled shill:
    “and…elderly dummies living in England”

  10. @L3
    You must be a huge trump fan..
    Gary is correct, the voters for brexit were the uneducated white trash suburbans and their likes
    Just like in canada with quebec and spain with catalunia
    Do you have all your teeth?
    Probably not….we know your type

  11. @Doug: Gary didn’t say that. That was glenn. Go back, read, and get your facts straight. You can read, right? But you aren’t concerned with facts, are you? Would get in the way of your bigotry.

    If you ever need to find Quebec (not quebec, you high school droput) or Catalonia (not catalonia, are you sure you can read?) on a map just ask a kindergarten kid.

    Go back to the echo chamber, you’ll feel better.

  12. @L3
    And yet all you can critique is my caps
    What a trump sore loser
    Go sleep with your sister

  13. @Doug: Not “your caps”, the fact that you don’t use caps because you are completely ignorant of the issues in Quebec or Catalonia, or Brexit. But you still open your mouth. With nothing useful to contribute. You are just a bag of flatus polluting this blog.

  14. @Bratty: You may not be a long-term visitor here but “Doug” has a long history of unsolicited rudeness. He has some kind of problem that makes him insult everyone he disagrees with, usually with no understanding of the issues. Nobody takes him seriously.

  15. @L3
    You are plainly majorly upset at Old Blighty’s plight and current reduced circumstances. Poor old sod; here’s a half gram of sympathy for you, old lovey.
    Better tone down the anger though; you’re well on the way to a heart attack or a burst blood vessel!

  16. @Glenn t: “the main cheerleaders for Brexit were ….elderly dummies living in England.”

    Your greatest contribution to Western Literature. And it has already been forgotten! You are going to die a forgotten, bigoted old windbag.

  17. The verdict on Brexit will be on changes to policies on illegal aliens and legal immigration. Britain is overrun by foreign peoples who threaten the future of the Anglo Saxon/jute people which the Queen and the government have a responsibility to protect and advocate for. If Brexit doesn’t cause a significant decline in African/Arab/south Asian/Muslim/Indian immigration destroying the genetic fabric of Britain, it will have been a waste. Regulations and economy don’t matter when a genetic group of people are undergoing a genocide at the hands of immigration. The Tories have proven themselves so far to be complete traitors to the cause of freedom and don’t seem to care about the average Anglo Saxon/jute. The tories pushing a draconian Covid policy over an exaggerated virus shows they are controlled by globalists.

  18. This was nothing to do with Brexit directly. There are very clear rules for third country entry into Spain. Returning to Spain to pick up your TIE is not one of them. Immigration were absolutely right to refuse entry.
    Still, there will always be someone willing to cut and paste from a wholly inaccurate article to promulgate their own agenda and view on the subject.

  19. Why do people still link Britain’s response to Covid with brexit when we know it is not true? Britain’s response was decided on when it was still an EU member. Every member had the option to opt out of the common response as Britain demonstrated. Yet some insist on perpetuating the lie.

  20. Which neo-Nazi fanboy club did Jackson Waterson join?

    Jackson W. sounds like a typical, insecure racist who tries to find succor in “white supremacy” because their underlying inferiority complex and individual failings in life need a mask of group strength to cover how individually they feel so vulnerable. Losers, the lot of them.

  21. These denied entry Brits who are allegedly resident in Spain should have known what Brexit means before they took these trips.

    Even if domiciled in an EU/Schengen country, third country nationals — which post-Brexit now puts UK passport users in the same basket as US passport users — need to meet the Schengen country’s travel and entry requirements with whatever is required. In Spain’s case, they now want the TIE card and don’t want to take it easy by continuing to accept what could be some easily faked documents from UK passport users.

    And anyone with their mind on this kind of matter should have known that April 1st was a potential game changer because Schengen passport control would also now be looking to see if Brits have exceeded 90 day limits in the Schengen area.

  22. How does 40 people turned away become “planeload of Brits …. deported”? 40 passengers doesn’t seem to be a plane load on any flight I’ve ever taken between the UK and Spain.

    Is being denied entry and turned back the same thing as being deported?

  23. @L3 is severely bitter & twisted with Brexit being the total flop it is. Poor old coot has to resort to abusing everyone. Pathetic really.

  24. @Oletis: Brexit date was already set at just a few months later and all planning took place under the assumption of post-Brexit rules, so Brexit was crucial, as Gary said. No member EU state took the independent route with the result of millions unnecessarily infected and tens of thousands dead. That is EU ‘responsiveness’.

    Notice how European politicians are scrambling to take responsibility for the carnage. True statesmen. Think how much better off the UK would be with them as leaders.

  25. @ Gary Leff
    as the unelected leader of this blog you must first contact ME before you do anything for this blog. failure to contact me on articles or ads or any other change to the blog will results in fines.

    thank you
    your unelected leader in a far a way place

  26. @L3- The real ignoramus are people like you. You are an angry person whose anger is based on misinformation (as well as not taking your meds on time) Brexit was voted in because the proponents out right lied to the people. One of the biggest lies which turned the vote in favor of Brexit was that the UK was sending 150 million pounds per day to the EU. I remember seeing that as an advert on the side of every bus in London. Immediately after the vote, these liars admitted that this was not true at all and the UK was actually a net gainer when it came to funds distribution. These people should have been thrown in jail.

    I work with Brits and Europeans everyday as my business is Europe focused. Half the Brits I speak to would change their vote against brexit in heartbeat if they could. The problem is that the liars are in power and will never let that happen.

  27. @Fernsie: You lost. Get over it. Support for the EU is lower than ever.

    And someone has been having you on. Britain was one of the minority of countries that was a net payer. By a wide margin. In fact, the balance was worse for the UK than just about any other country.

    As for the opinion of “the people you work with”: There is nothing like the ‘telling anecdote’ when you don’t have a fact to your name.

    ” You are an angry person whose anger is based on misinformation (as well as not taking your meds on time)”
    This was there presumably to show what a thoughtful, analytical thinker you are. It might leave some people (i.e. 99% of humanity) thinking that you are a bigoted, mentally deficient 12-year old who is incapable of civil discussion.

  28. Brexit was voted on by the citizens of the UK. Whether a person agrees with or likes the outcome is irrelevant. A free and fair referendum decided the issue.
    Case closed.
    Move on.

  29. @DFWSteve- The key words are free and fair. How was the referendum free and fair when people were duped into voting in favor of Brexit? The extreme nut job Nigel Farage and the UKIP party spent millions of pounds on the big lie that the UK was sending 150 million British pounds daily to Europe as part of the UK to EU commitment. This was completely false and in reality, the UK was a net importer of wealth distribution. There were many other lies but based on this fact alone, many people who were centrists voted in favor as they thought it was outrageous. I am in daily contact with people in the UK and can tell you that there are so many people who wish they would have another referendum so that they could change their vote. But obviously it’s too late

  30. @ DFWSteve

    No, the citizens of the UK did not all get to vote on Brexit. There are 5.5 million Brits living abroad. Only 233,000 were registered overseas voters in the 2019 general election. Voting rights are denied to people like myself who have been living abroad for a number of years despite being citizens. Ironically, David Cameron, the Tory twit PM who dabbled in the original Brexit gamble to secure his personal power base, had promised to remedy this. Folk living overseas would be far more likely to look at the Brexit issue as internationalists rather than parochially.

    @ L3

    You characterise the sad side of both the Brexit brigade and the Tory twit. You offer no actual cogent argument whatsoever, just express your arrogant and misplaced sense of superiority by belittling others who you presume to be inferior and less educated than yourself.

    I have wondered why anybody would study Geography at university, like the former UK PM, the dithering Tory twit, Theresa May – now I know, it’s so you can spell the names of cities correctly as a put down to others who have diaposed political positions.

    The UK Government under the utter bumbling buffoon, break-the-law-to-avoid-the-accountability-of-parliament Boris Johnson (born in the USA and not the UK) had utterly messed up the country’s COVID response. The one thing they appear to have got right is the vaccine roll out. Or have they. They have taken the risky decision to extend the timeframe of the second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccination, having been in a desperate position due to their earlier failures to contain the spread of the virus. Maybe it’ll work out and maybe it won’t. In any case, they are also lucky to have vaccine production in-country and thereby not hostage to supply issues.

    @ Jackson Waterside

    Small and highly ironic problem with your horrendously racist harrenrasse diatribe. The inward migration of folk to the UK has been going on for decades, largely as a consequence of the colonialist and imperialist history of the British Empire – people deriving from a diversity of countries from within the Caribbean, Indian subcontinent, etc., that are still part of the Commonwealth – they share the same head of state – HRH ERII.

    Oh yeah – genetically speaking – diversity promotes strength – it’s called heterozygous advantage. Too much homogeny leads to inbreeding 😉

    @ Gary Leff

    How do you justify conflating Brexit and COVID policy? The UK government’s responses have mostly been appallingly incompetent – well compared with say, Australia, rather than the disastrously deadly tragedy of the USA. Does that make Brexit good or bad? What’s the connection? In any case, European countries have taken their own national decisions. Are you trying to compare UK with the whole of Europe or specific European countries? Are you suggesting that the COVID responses of specific European countries have been stymied by their membership of the European bloc relative to the UK? Have you factored in the question of intrinsic government competence in the counties you are comparing?

    As always, you are great at the frequent traveller stuff, but have a very shallow grasp of anything outside of your immediate frame of reference.

  31. As more and more Brits — especially the English chavs and their near and dear ones that supported Brexit — realize what Brexit means for their cheap continental escapes, instead of admitting that Brexit didn’t work out for them like they wanted, they will instead imagine and blame a global and EUropean conspiracy for the negative aspects of Brexit. And for those who thought that Brexit would make Britain more English — call it MEGA —- and mean less people of immigrant origin, I doubt it’s going to work out like they wished. Funnily enough a lot of people of Commonwealth immigrant backgrounds in the UK voted in favor of Brexit. Many of them assume that Brexit reducing EUropean immigration means more qualified people or their foreign relatives from their countries of national/ethnic origin will have a better chance with settling in the UK if the flow of EUropean migrants to the UK is reduced.

    About the “planeload” of Brits turned around on the March flight, it probably would have turned out differently if the trip wasn’t in the middle of a pandemic.

  32. @Fernsie is 110% correct ! @L3 is 1000% wrong~ he swallowed all the lies and mistruths about Brexit and now is suffering the consequences! I hope he has stocked up on his psychotropic medications, as this is yet another thing that Brexit has hit. Judging by his comments here he does seem to economising on dosage.
    Britain will definitely rejoin the EU in the future, once the neanderthals and Alf Garnets have kicked the bucket. The younger folk want to be part of Europe.

  33. @platy. If you are not willing to live in the country in which you claim to be a citizen, then you don’t have a seat at the table. Complaining from afar without rolling up your sleeves, going home and fixing the problem doesn’t count for much. Sorry, mate, that’s the reality.
    I’ve lived in three countries abroad as an expat for short periods and currently run a global consulting firm from the shining beacon of business called Texas, so I’m an “internationalist” to be sure.

  34. @Gary

    You used “reticence” when “reluctance” would have worked much better. Why ruin a perfectly cromulent word?


    The UK has more COVID-19 deaths per capita than the US. EU states didn’t fare much better than the US, and many of them did far worse. As for EU incompetence, it is very much to blame for the vaccine debacle as the European Commission negotiated the purchase agreements for the vaccines on behalf of member states. The Brexit referendum was silly, but no sillier than the EU and far less egregious than the euro project.

    Trapping citizens within the borders of a country is a policy of places like North Korea or the Soviet bloc. It would never have been possible to enforce in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Much to admire in Australia and Communist China, though, right? Authoritarian statism is obviously the way of competence.

    The leftist commentariat is incapable of disguising its dripping condescension. Just call those who disagree with you “deplorables” and save most of your effort.

  35. @platy: You won’t find many “Remoaners” left now after the mass murder by EU bureaucrats in their failure to distribute vaccines. If you are brighter than glenn t (and most people are) sit down and estimate the infections and deaths they caused. You could start by plugging UK vaccination rates into EU population numbers. Get back with what you find.

  36. Gary is crazy and makes statements to troll responses. But some of the responses to Gary are crazier. Hotel California. Very funny!. Much better than the Fuhrer TPG who allows no dissent or comments.

  37. @ DFW Steve

    Living abroad does not negate your citizenship. Various UK governments have dabbled in limiting voting rights, usually to favour their own electoral chances on the presumption of the majority vote being right wing and more recent left wing. Tory twit PM Thatcher sought to allocate the expat vote to electorates of the government’s choice to shore up marginal seats. Presumably you retained your US citizenship and its attendant rights when you lived abroad yourself? If your beloved state of Texas held a referendum on succession from the union at a time when your happened to be living overseas you’d happily accept your rights being stripped away from you and not getting a vote?

    @ cargocult

    Conflating governments / countries like Australia and NZ with certain communist countries reflects your abject fear of communism rather than any realistic and informed appreciation of the Aus / NZ. As as been repeatedly explained on this blog, the data do the talking. The death rate and total in the USA (and some other countries) are to the utter shame of the nation. Your idealisation of freedom is delusional. Think about all the ways governments restrict your actions. Crying over deluded concepts is a terrible excuse for the country’s failures in managing the pandemic over the last 14 months.

    To note that the federal government of Australia is not left wing. The governments of the various states are held by right wing and left of centre political parties. They have generally used similar policies to master the pandemic. Those policies have been supported by the overwhelming majority of citizens. Recent state elections have returned sitting governments. The fundamental pandemic policies have not been politicised, aside from the usual interstate bickering and rivalries.

    @ L3

    Your anti-EU rants might make more sense if the UK had actually controlled the pandemic over the last 14 months, say like Australia or NZ managed to do. Small problem – they didn’t.

    As @NB has already stated at the head of this thread – time will tell whether the UK has blundered its way into a less prosperous future by letting the anti-EU chorus of parochial twits out of the bag with the principal aim of shoring up the political fortunes of a few dopey politicians such as Cameron, Johnson and Farage. .

    Australia now has the same problem as many other countries – vaccine supply – the vast majority of the UK supply is manufactured at two sites in country. The UK government has taken the risk of stretching the second jab timeline on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – time will tell whether this will turn out to be either a stroke of genius or a monumental mess up.

    Try looking beyond your rather simplistic notions. The pandemic is a global challenge.

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