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Brexit - EU nationals need only passports for the UK

AIRLINE STAFF are "unnecessarily" stopping EU nationals boarding flights to the UK - including some who are returning to their homes in the UK.

The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) has received reports of EU nationals being asked for evidence of their Settled Status in the UK before they can board flights with that destination. The IMA keeps an eye on EU nationals' rights in the UK post-Brexit.

The IMA has also heard of EU nationals with a valid identity card not being allowed to board. EU nationals who also hold Settled Status in the UK can travel to and from that country using their EU member state's national identity card until at least 2025. The Settled Status document is a digital one accessible on a device via a fiddly "pass code" and does not appear as a stamp or insert in a passport.

Home Office guidance states that "carriers are not currently required to check an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen's immigration status, or their entitlement to travel on a national identity card, when deciding whether to bring them to the UK. They only need to check that they have a valid passport or national identity card." The EEA, the European Economic Area, includes Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The practice of demanding evidence of Settled Status is in breach of the Withdrawal Agreement signed by the UK and the EU as part of Brexit.

Among those who were wrongly told by a member of airline staff that they needed additional documents while boarding a flight to the UK was Andreea Dumitrache, a Romanian national with Settled Status in the UK. She was returning home to the UK in July after training in Spain.

Andreea is a communications manager at The 3 Million, an advocacy group of EU nationals in the UK - so she stood her ground. She was allowed to board after 15 minutes of insisting that she didn't need any more documentation. She told Metro: "I've heard from many others who have faced the same additional checks. Many ended up being denied boarding altogether when they could not provide additional ID documents, or when they tried to travel on their ID cards."

EU nationals in, or entering, the UK who believe their rights as an EU citizen are being infringed should contact the IMA.