Holders of blue Gibraltar residence cards face having their passport stamped as they cross the border . / SUR

Blue card bother at the border since UK entry rules changed

Since the British government banned EU nationals from entering the UK with an ID card, Spain has been stamping passports of Gib residents

Debbie Bartlett

A number of people who hold blue Gibraltar residence cards have recently complained that their passports are being stamped by the Spanish authorities at the border. Blue cards are held by EU and UK nationals who live in Gibraltar; Gibraltarian identity' cards are red and so far it appears they have not been affected by the same problem.

Under the interim measures put into effect while negotiations are taking place into Gibraltar's future relationship with the European Union, Spain indicated that passports of Gibraltarian blue or red card holders would not be stamped.

However, this latest move appears to be in response to the UK's new rule on 1 October, whereby EU nationals can no longer enter the UK on an ID card and must present a passport.

The Gibraltar government's advice to EU nationals resident in Gibraltar with a blue card is that they "should ensure that they simply take their passport when crossing the border. This will avoid all stamping".

For UK nationals, it seems there is no way around it. "They should ensure that when stamped on the way into Spain, they should also be stamped on the way back into Gibraltar, as otherwise the days accumulated will count towards their entitlement to 90 days in 180 visa-free. It does unfortunately mean that any entry and exit to Spain will count towards at least one day of those 90," said the government, which has raised the matter with the UK and Spanish authorities and hopes to find a solution.