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Heathrow Airport: British-Italian woman slams ‘chaos’ at Border Force as staff ‘not sure’ she was allowed to pass

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A British-Italian woman with an Italian passport has claimed that she was held up at Border Force for 20 minutes as staff were ‘not sure’ if she was allowed to pass.

Marina Purkiss, 37, was travelling from Tenerife and arrived at Heathrow Airport, west London, at around 3:45pm on Friday October 15.

Marina, who travelled with her husband and 10-month old son, was born in Harrow and has dual nationality as a British-Italian.

However, as her mother and father are both Italian, Marina has only ever had an Italian passport.

Despite being able to ‘fly freely without problem’ previously, Marina said she was stopped and checked at Border Force last Friday.

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She said: “I’ve never had a British passport even though I was born in Britain… My Mum and Dad are born and bred Italian, they moved over here in their 20s-30s. They always wanted their kids to have an Italian passport.

“I’ve been able to fly freely without problem internationally and I’ve done lots of travelling. This was the first time I was held up at the border.”

According to Marina, who lives in west London, Border Force staff were “unsure about the rules” but eventually let her through after 20 minutes of deliberation.

Before being let through the border, Marina, a political commentator and tech marketing lead, claims she was told by Border Force staff to get a British passport to ‘avoid these sorts of problems’ in the future and to prove her British citizenship.

Marina, who describes herself as ‘anti-Brexit’ and ‘anti-Boris’ on Twitter, is unable to apply for settled status as she is a British citizen.

Settled status and pre-settled status are an immigration status granted to EU citizens that allows them to continue to live, work and study in the UK.

The scheme was introduced following the end of freedom of movement and the introduction of a new points-based immigration system, after the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The 37-year-old described there being a “complete lack of clarity” at the British border following Britain’s exit from the European Union.

“This has unearthed a gaping hole in the post Brexit aftermath,” she said.

“It’s complete chaos, they’re completely unclear…it just felt like a huge grey area. The fact his response to me was to avoid the hassle and [apply for a British passport],that to me is complete lack of clarity.”

Marina is now ‘reluctantly’ applying for a British passport in order to prevent the same issue happening again.

“It’s on my to-do list now, really reluctantly. I am massively anti Brexit,” she said.

“I’m proud [of my] dual nationality.

“That black passport is a symbol of broken Brexit Britain [and] I’m being forced to apply for it. That is something I have to do to avoid that crazy mess at the border.”

MyLondon contacted the Home Office for comment but did not hear back by time of publication.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/heathrow-airport-british-italian-woman-21934589