A SPANISH woman who went home from the UK to Malaga for Christmas was refused entry upon her return and put on a plane back to Spain the following day.
Spanish vet-in-training Maria – a pseudonym – was trying to return to her Bedfordshire home on Christmas Day after a lightning visit to her sister near the Costa del Sol, according to the Guardian.
But a border officer allegedly told her she was ‘wasting her time’ if she thought her Home Office paperwork asserting her right to live in the UK was valid.
“I went home because my sister had a little baby girl, and literally four days later in Luton airport they took me to the detention room, took my stuff and my phone and told me to wait there,” she said.
“I was left there all night and then put on a plane.”
Border staff told her not to try to return to the UK for at least a month, despite the fact that ‘all her stuff is in the UK,’ including her ‘dog and car.’
Maria’s British husband, with whom she lived along with her in-laws, has flown out to Spain to support her.
Maria had made a late application for the EU settlement scheme in 2023 after returning from a period living in South Africa.
Lockdown rules meant that they were not able to return until after the Brexit cut-off point of January 2021.
Although it was rejected on the grounds that she had not provided enough evidence to show that her absence from the UK was only temporary, she launched an appeal.
She was given a certificate assuring her that she would be able to continue working in the UK while a final decision was reached.
The Border Force refused entry on the grounds that her ‘application for EUSS [EU settlement scheme] has been refused.’
“You no longer have a right of admission to the UK as saved by the Citizens’ Rights (Application Deadline and Temporary Protection) Regulations 2020,” they continued.
Alistair Strathern, the Labour MP for Mid Bedfordshire, said: “It is really important, if our borders are to be secure and people are to have confidence in border officials, that they are empowered to act within the law, and it seems in this case that does not appear to have happened and there is a gap and I am more than happy to escalate this with the Home Office.”
The Border Force said a certificate of application did not give an EU citizen a right of travel in and out of the country.