On the day the UK leaves the EU, the government is giving prospective British travellers to Europe inaccurate information on passport validity.
Strict regulations come into effect at 11pm GMT. But the government’s website has three different versions of calculating dates of validity – two of them at odds with Europe’s.
With UK airlines set to apply incorrect rules, there are fears that Europe-bound passengers could be wrongly turned away at the airport. Besides the upset to correctly documented travellers, each case of denying boarding will cost the airlines hundreds of pounds in compensation.
The UK becomes a “third country” in the EU context after Brexit transition ends and rules on passport validity come into effect for the first time. Previously, UK passports were valid for travel anywhere in the European Union up to and including the date of expiry.
The Schengen Area rule for “third-country non-visa travellers,” including British nationals, is that a passport must be valid for three months after the intended date of departure.