VIDEO: British D-Day paratroopers face post-Brexit checks in Normandy field

Emma Pearson
Emma Pearson - [email protected]
VIDEO: British D-Day paratroopers face post-Brexit checks in Normandy field
British paratroopers performing a jump over Sannerville, north-western France, as part of D-Day commemoration. Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

More than 250 British troops parachuted into Normandy as part of the events to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day - but upon landing they faced post-Brexit passport and customs checks from French authorities.


As part of the 80th anniversary events in northern France, hundreds of paratroopers dropped into Normandy, recreating the jumps undertaken as part of the Allied landings in 1944.

But upon landing the British troops - 274 of them - faced a new requirement; post-Brexit passport and customs checks.

The soldiers parachuted in Sannerville in the Calvados département of Normandy, where they were met by a temporary passport and customs post, set up by French officials from the nearby port of Ouistreham.

"It was ca ustoms office set up especially for the event, whereas usually we check at our border posts in Ouistreham. They're arriving from England, so they're outside the Shengen area", Jonathan Monti, head of the divisional customs office in Caen, told France 3.


A video shows the soldiers showing their passports to officers at the temporary passport and customs post - essentially a table in a field - with good humour.

The parachute jump was part of the many events organised to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day - follow the live coverage HERE.

Since Brexit, Brits arriving in France from the UK have faced both enhanced passport checks and customs checks.

Although the UK was never part of the Schengen zone, so passport checks were always required when travelling between France and the UK, since Brexit Brits are subject to the '90-day rule', which means that passports are stamped on arrival and on exit to ensure that people have not over-stayed in the EU bloc.

Arrivals from the UK also face customs checks with the import of foodstuffs from ham sandwiches to chocolate now forbidden due to the EU's food safety rules.

It was not stated whether any of the soldiers had their snacks confiscated.

Joining the Brits in the commemorative parachute jump were Belgians soldiers - but as fellow members of the EU they were not subject to passport or customs checks.


Comments (4)

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Nick Dawson 2024/06/06 21:42
If you are going to report on a story, report the full story rather than slant it to suit a particular audience. US troops were subject to the same checks but, because they arrived earlier, they did not need to be checked a second time. Had the UK been the landing spot for paratroopers from other nations - do you really think that the UK government would have happily let them arrive without carrying out checks? Let's have unbiased reporting of facts rather than clickbait.
Nick Dawson 2024/06/06 21:04
Perhaps the article should mention that US soldiers were also checked but, as they had arrived earlier (and checked upon arrival) then parachuted from France to France, it was not necessary to check them twice. the article appears to imply that UK parachutists.wete singled out due to Brexit but that was not the case. Rules were applied correctly.
Tim 2024/06/06 16:15
Who do you think was shooting at them? Don’t mess around with French customs and immigration! :-)
Michael Armstrong 2024/06/06 14:42
Incredible....they couldn't make an exception for this occasion. Where were the French authorities on D Day 1944? Keeping their heads well down I expect.

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