Those who travel regularly between the UK and mainland Europe will already know that, although we are able to use priority lanes for EU and EEA citizens to pass through Customs and Passport controls, because the UK did not sign up to the Schengen agreement, we have to watch as most other travellers out of European airports walk straight from security check to boarding, as we queue for another passport check.
So by showing Johnny Foreigner how different and special we are, this proud yet deluded mentality just makes travel so much more difficult and time consuming. It is something that our free and fearless press has difficulty taking on board. So when the news came that after Brexit, our passports would change colour to blue and gold - which happen to be the colours of the EU flag - no-one stopped to consider the implications.
Those championing Britain’s departure from the EU have banged on ad infinitum, and indeed ad nauseam, about freedom. We were, it was argued, stifled and shackled by being in the EU; outside it, we would enjoy so much more freedom. This was the most blatant bullshitting of the electorate: as the blue passport ruckus dies down, it is becoming clear that our freedom is about to be degraded, not enhanced, outside the EU.
You think I jest? What the likes of Andrew Bridgen, Jacob Rees Mogg, Bill Cash, Peter Bone and the inevitable contribution from Dan, Dan The Oratory Man will not tell you is that our new blue passports will mean more delays, more inconvenience, more spot checks, more bureaucracy, more hassle, and ultimately more ridicule at our decision to precipitate a national act of self-harm for no point whatsoever.
Even the Daily Mail has seen the penny drop, telling “offficials in Brussels said holders of any colour of British passport could see their travel rights diminished after Brexit unless there were further negotiating concessions … One senior official told The Guardian 'depending on how negotiations go on all free movement issues after Brexit' there was a significant risk that Britons would lose the right to use a fast-track citizens lane when travelling on the continent”. And there was more.
“One expert warned it is unlikely Britain will retain fast-track privileges unless there is further shift in the prime minister's red lines on immigration … ’At the moment, it looks absolutely certain that we won't be able to go through the European citizens lane because the legal code in the Schengen borders code says it is only for citizens or people with free movement rights,' said Steve Peers, a professor of law at Essex University”.
You believed all that guff about Free Movement being A Very Bad Thing? You’ve been taken for a mug again. It gets worse: we could have had blue passports at any time in the last 30 years. The EU recommendation to adopt a burgundy colour for the documents was merely advisory. Worse again for all the clowns cheering the change in passport colour is that a majority of the public don’t think it’s a very good idea.
The more that the electorate discovers about Brexit, the less they like it. And how they will treat politicians and parties who took them for fools does not bear thinking about.