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AIBU to think this is just wrong?

(65 Posts)
Cooki3Monst3r Sun 14-Dec-14 22:40:08

So, DH, me, DD 4yo and DD 2yo are on the way to France, about to take the Euro Tunnel.

We're white. We're mid 30s. We're driving a Range Rover and we're rammed to the roof with bags.

Yes, we look like an average harmless family going on holiday.

But does that really mean it's OK for Passport Control to wave us on without seeing our passports?

This was on the UK side. "Oh, they clearly couldn't give a flying fuck who they let in to a tunnel under the sea with hundreds of other people, and out in to wider Europe." I thought.

"No worries, I'm sure the French won't let us in without seeing our passports." I said to DH.

Nope, no passport control on that side.

There are several reasons why this is upsetting me.

1) I just paid a bloody fortune for 3 new passports for me and DCs. If the same happens on the way back, I needn't have bothered.

2) I can't help but think if I was a black 20yo male, or a middled aged middle-eastern man with a beard and a backpack on the passenger seat, or wearing a burka, I would have been stopped. Maybe that's my own subconscious racism coming out. I don't know.

3) I had two kids in the car!!! Those passport control guys had no idea whether those children were mine!!!! So any fucker can apparently take my kids abroad!! I do not like this one little bit.

4) There were several people in the passport kiosk. It was a quiet day and no one was immediately behind us. What the hell else did they have to do other than check our passports??

AIBU to be deeply concerned about this?

southeastastra Sun 14-Dec-14 22:42:13


southeastastra Sun 14-Dec-14 22:42:43

i mean yes

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 14-Dec-14 22:44:50


Are you lacking something serious to worry about or what?!

OneHorseOpenSandwich Sun 14-Dec-14 22:45:52

You don't get asked for your passport at the borders of Eu countries do you? Like if you go from France to Germany you don't.

I think they spot-check a proportion, so you do need one.

AuntieStella Sun 14-Dec-14 22:46:40

Yes and no.

They do search some vehicles thoroughly, both if something seems 'wrong' and also the ones a computer tells them to do. It's not all the choice of the people on duty.

I think the more searches the better (deterrent effect).

Last time we went by ferry, we got a thorough search in once direction but nothing really on the other. Passports were checked each time with ticket, and once by uniformed official on the French side.

Cooki3Monst3r Sun 14-Dec-14 22:47:02

I am deeply worried about national and international security. This is serious!

Does anyone have the Home Secretary's telephone number?

DixieNormas Sun 14-Dec-14 22:47:21

What? You don't think letting people in and out of a country (or2) is something to worry about ?

Op yanbu

AuntieStella Sun 14-Dec-14 22:48:21

"You don't get asked for your passport at the borders of Eu countries do you? Like if you go from France to Germany you don't."

They're both Schengen members, so no checks between them. UK is not Schengen, do there should be checks.

AllCowsEatGrass Sun 14-Dec-14 22:48:27

Have you made it to France yet, or are you still up there on your high horse? If this is all you have to worry about, then lucky you. YABU

LineRunner Sun 14-Dec-14 22:48:34

You need a passport if you have to go to hospital, for exchanging money, for all sorts if things.

12daysofpissedoff Sun 14-Dec-14 22:49:25

Dont worry, its not just the tunnel border staff. I returned from a motorcycling trip around Europe on the ferry via Hull. Started to take my helmet off at passport control but was told not to bother. As imcould be recognised by my eyes only!

Cooki3Monst3r Sun 14-Dec-14 22:51:18

Don't get me wrong Auntie, I didn't want them to search the car and mess up my packing find my tonne of cocaine.

But I really did expect someone to look at our passports!! I just thought that's what happened when crossing borders.

Is it just because it's Europe? And we're all one big, happy European family?

chilephilly Sun 14-Dec-14 22:51:26

This is normal.
I take 30 odd kids abroad every year through my job. They travel on a group passport.
No checks going out
Checked to buggery coming back!!

MinceSpy Sun 14-Dec-14 22:51:38

It's absolutely nothing to do with your white, 30s, range rover profile. At the Eurotunnel they only check when you attempt to enter the UK. They check each and every passport and scan them before you can get on the train. I've just come through the tunnel at 8pm and had to queue at border control.

Cooki3Monst3r Sun 14-Dec-14 22:53:23

Wow 12days, you must have amazing eyes. Bright blue probably. smile

thenightsky Sun 14-Dec-14 22:53:43

It's down to pure chance.

Me and DH and our retired elderly bilingual friends (white middle class in boring VX estate car) got pulled over for checks on channel tunnel.

Cooki3Monst3r Sun 14-Dec-14 22:57:58

mincespy good!

So we're down to the option of no-one caring who gets in to mainland Europe, but caring who gets in to the UK.

In all seriousness, the kid thing is upsetting me. I keep thinking of abducted children being trafficked all over Europe. sad

I do have other stuff to worry about. More 'normal life' stuff. Maybe I should concentrate on that instead.

TInselaffe Sun 14-Dec-14 23:02:30

YANBU in a certain sense - I, white British, always get waved through. I've travelled with non-white British friends and they have always been searched. One viewed it as inevitable hmm I've also had to stand behind an Italian friend for five minutes in the passport queue whilst she was interrogated about her right to be in the UK, where she had been, where she lived, how long she had been living here, what her job was - she's lived here for 10 years and is a higher rate tax payer (so contributes a lot). She was fuming, said the woman was rude and made her feel like a criminal. I got waved through by the same person.

DParents have two cars. One has NI numberplates. Guess which car always gets selected for 'random' searches.

I would rather everyone gets searched, even if it takes longer, than contribute to a build up of perfectly legal migrants, or even British people, not feeling welcome.

They are trained to spot suspicious behaviour and they do indeed use racial profiling when deciding who to pull over and check.
Next time try smuggling in some hard drugs and see how quickly you get pulled over. grin

BaffledSomeMore Sun 14-Dec-14 23:13:39

How many people do you think immigration see on one shift?
Experience tells them who to pull. Regardless of colour

Cooki3Monst3r Sun 14-Dec-14 23:13:54

It's the 'racial profiling' I feel very, very uncomfortable with. I don't think it's right.

lemontwist Sun 14-Dec-14 23:14:38

YANBU. When DH and I went on holiday to canada and the USA we were subject to so many checks along the way, scrutinised over every border. On entering the UK there was just one old fella on customs who everyone just walked straight past. It was laughable and scary at the same time!

Cooki3Monst3r Sun 14-Dec-14 23:18:28

TInsel that's awful.

I think personal judgement shouldn't perhaps enter the equation. I'm no security or immigration expert! Personal judgement can be flawed.

But, by the sounds of it what happened to us today isn't out of the ordinary.

MinceSpy Sun 14-Dec-14 23:25:10

OP the way border controls works at the tunnel has been the same for several years. There are no UK border control posts leaving England and no French ones leaving France. So your problem is with the French who don't overtly check the border.

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