Revealed: How the “borderless EU” became an empire of borders — years before COVID

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readAug 15, 2021

Let me exposé the EU’s broken Schengen zone — “one of the greatest achievements”

Part of the enduring and entirely false Remainer-Rejoiner narrative involves a rose-tinted impression of a wonderfully free bloc where people can move around freely, crossing internal borders without passports.

This has not been true for years, even before COVID-19. I now expose the hypocrisy of the EU’s insistence on a “laws-based” approach for the United Kingdom, while its own member countries have consistently broken EU law with impunity.

Specifically today, I show how the EU’s precious Schengen Zone has been fractured and dysfunctional for years, and the reality of the situation today. This contrasts with the EU’s obsession over the Northern Ireland border which is due to come to a head next month.

Here is how the EU presents the Schengen Zone today

How the EU ideologues’ fantasies have hit the hard borders of reality

The EU’s Schengen Zone fantasy
This is a map of how the EU presents the Schengen Zone

The EU’s Schengen Zone in 2021 reality
And this is the reality, based on the actions of EU countries

Which countries are in the EU’s Schengen Zone?

Ireland is now the only country to have an opt-out, which is gained by virtue of the United Kingdom opting out. Of the remaining 26 member states, 22 are full Schengen members, with Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania being legally obliged to join the area when the EU says they can. In addition, the four EFTA states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland also participate in Schengen.

The Schengen code is a fundamental part of one of the EU’s “Four Freedoms”, as it involves free movement.

The French were the first to break the Schengen Zone

It may not surprise readers to learn that France was the first country to break the Schengen Zone. In 2006 they closed the land border with Spain as a result of Basque youth protests in South-West France.

This is event is included in the EU Commission’s official list of “Member States’ notifications of the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders”.

312 official breakages of the EU’s Schengen Zone in the last 15 years

The official list now contains 312 notifications, most of which concern numerous borders between EU member countries.

If the imposition of border controls listed each border separately, the number would be in four figures. For example, the latest notification is from Finland. It covers Finland’s internal borders with the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, France, Slovenia, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia. One notification, affecting 15 other EU member countries.

It is important to note that these border controls are not only physical, they include flights or boats entering Finland from any of the countries listed. When looking at the EU’s official list it is also important to note something of direct relevance to the United Kingdom in its ongoing battles with the EU Commission.

Breaking the EU’s Schengen law first, then getting legal permission after the event

Investigations have revealed that many instances of border controls going up across the EU were only reported to the EU Commission later. In other words, these countries broke the Schengen rules first, then obtained a legal dispensation after the law had been broken. Worse still, these legal dispensations could only be for a period of 3–6 months. In many cases, they were extended, and extended again, by the countries involved.

Despite this, the EU contains to maintain its fantasy of being a “rules-based organisation” and it applies this bogus principle rigorously in every aspect of its dealings with the United Kingdom. Naturally, this hypocrisy applies across a wide range of EU laws as I have reported many times before, on numerous topics.

This was all happening way before COVID-19

We know that a large number of Remainer-Rejoiners will respond on social media (without reading this report) by saying that it is not surprising that border controls have had to be introduced, because of the COVID crisis.

The reality is that Schengen was broken well before COVID was even heard of.

For Remainer-Rejoiners who doubt this, here are the facts, directly from the EU Commission

Since 01 May 2021 (less than three months ago), the Schengen Agreement has been broken 10 times.

  • Only three of these were for COVID-19
  • Seven of these were for other reasons (terrorism, large illegal immigration, organised crime, etc)

The EU’s idealistic Schengen rules have been destroyed by reality

The effects of uncontrolled mass migration caused by Angela Merkel’s government and the increased threat from terrorists now resident in the EU has made Schengen virtually unworkable. When the EU refers to ‘border controls’ being extended, it means that the borders in question have had to revert to being normal, hard, international borders and that Schengen has failed.

Indeed, the EU Commission’s own new “Covid pass” which is now being taken up by all members makes a mockery of the idea of travelling seamlessly from one country to another, to say nothing of the borders being thrown up by member countries in response to terrorism, high numbers of illegal migrants, and other reasons.

When the EU claims to be a ‘rules-based organisation’ it clearly isn’t. When the EU tells the UK it must obey the rules, why should it? No one else does.

[ Sources: EU Commission ]

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.