Meet Colin Browning. He supports Leicester City, drinks lager, eats gammon on Christmas Eve, and he’s one of the 17.4 million. Yes, he voted to Leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. He wants to Make Britain Great Again. And now, thanks to one Tweet, he is, as the late Russell Harty might have put it, “famous, nay, notorious”.
Browning flew out of the UK yesterday to the Netherlands, and for the vast majority of those arriving in that country by air, that means his destination was Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. And when he got there, his journey from airside to groundside turned out to be a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to his advantage.
Such was Colin’s frustration that he took to Twitter to tell the world “Absolutely disgusting service at Schiphol airport. 55 minutes we have been stood in the immigration queue. This isn’t the Brexit I voted for”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, Schiphol had what might be called staffing and training issues yesterday, so it was the same for everyone. And Two, it WAS the Brexit he voted for.
The Schiphol Twitter feed tried to explain, but admitted it was too late intervening. “There have been no changes at our airport for UK travellers. New staff members were being trained yesterday, leading to longer queues at the passport control than usual. Sadly, this tweet has taken on a life of its own”. That last point was an understatement.
And the responses were all too predictable. “Colin is upset at having to queue [at Schiphol] airport, despite us repeatedly telling him this will happen he didn't believe us, instead he believed Johnson, Farage, Gove, oh Colin” … “Looks like I picked a bad day to start my new job as a border guard at Schiphol Airport” … “the Brexiteers didn't seem to realise that if you leave a club, you lose all the privileges of being a member”. Quite.
Added to that was someone from the Netherlands joining in the fun: “Greetings from Schiphol’s Border Guards … We have sufficient supplies of mischievousness, herring and high strength Gouda to keep this going for a loooong time”. Ho ho ho.
But seriously, what did Colin expect? OK, it was just a bad day he chose to arrive - not a consequence of Brexit. But that is what is in store for him and all his Brexiteer pals after the end of this year. Britain becomes a Third Country. It’s not as if he didn’t want that.
After all, this is the bloke who told his followers “Not taking no prisoners here. We will not be a door mat any longer. 17 Days … Rule Britannia … Democracy conquers all … Brilliant weekend celebrating Brexit. Not been on here much. Sank a few yesterday down the local after an enthralling match down the King Power. Where are all the remoaning cyclists who were laughing at me months ago. He who laughs last laughs the longest”.
Yes, he hates cyclists and voted to Leave. Then he complained about the kind of passport queue delay that will become routine as a result of the vote he cast. And he was visiting the Netherlands, where literally hundreds of thousands of locals are cyclists. Perhaps he thought ending free movement only applied to foreigners.
Except in all other countries, “foreigners” means him. You won, Colin. Get over it.
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