Brexit Musings (3) – Welcome To Amsterdam Schiphol


Well, not much to chew on this week, concerning Brexit.

However, I do have an idea: with the tenors of the UK political landscape out of the country for the summer, maybe it is time to close the borders – before they get back.

Wishful thinking I know, but it’s a nice thought.

There is a serious rumour going around that the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson is about to do a runner. Well, he will not taking the plane, that’s for sure – not with the airport directives targettted against British holidaymakers (more on that in a minute).

I always had the feeling that Theresa May made a serious error in her team selection by choosing Boris Johnson as centre forward. In doing so, she and her party managed to squander a 20 point lead in the opinion polls. My beloved Manchester City made the same mistake in 1972 when, with a few weeks to go until the end of the season, they decided to buy Rodney Marsh, a flamboyant blond number 9. The team went on to squander a 4 point lead at the top of the table and ended up finishing fourth. It’s just a shame that she did let herself be inspired by a talented French striker who was idly sitting in the history books. He was really the all-round forward – enough social skills to play on the left, a democratic desire to play on the right, but also the integrity to play right down the middle.

Here was a man who fought for the workers – the “sans culottes” (“without pants”) during the French revolution, even though he came from the bourgeois upper class. Robespierre was a radical and a democrat, believing in human rights applicable to everybody. He participated in the elaboration of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, which became the foundation of the French constitution. Had he been alive today, despite his extreme old age, he would still have had the strength and determination to defend EU citizens in the UK and British expats elsewhere in the EU.

The fuss that the British holidaymakers and certain UK papers (mention no names) are making over a few minutes delay at major European airports is just typical of the paranoia that these people are showing vis-à-vis all things European. These extensive delays do not only apply to British citizens but to everybody. This problem has been going on for weeks, and Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has been particularly badly hit. My sister-in-law missed her plane home as far back as last February (I hope that she’s still not waiting). In 2013, Schiphol was awarded the title of “best European airport”, but I doubt whether it has successfully maintained that honour since. The problem is that the number of travellers passing through the airport has dramatically risen from 52.6 million in 2013 to 63.6 million last year. Schiphol’s infrastructure just hasn’t been able to cope with such an increase in demand. Thus, blaming the delays exclusively on useless EU rules designed in an attempt to combat terrorism is, once again, absolute short-sightedness from the Brits.

As if we would do that to annoy the British holidaymakers? From now on, instead of transiting through Schiphol for your summer holidays, why don’t you spend your holidays in the Netherlands? It’s lovely here – between 2 showers.

If, however, you do insist on passing through, Schiphol have just announced that rows 1-16 will be for genuine EU (Shengen) passport holders, rows 17-19 for EEA passport holders (and Switzerland), and Brexiters and the rest of the world can have row 20 all to themselves. I can’t say fairer than that – can I?


Bon Voyage…