Woman, 25, refused a drink in a York pub – because she has EU ID

Knocked back over a beer: ‘I was in shock’. EU flag photograph © Bobby Hidy on Flickr
29 Jun 2016 @ 7.17 pm
| News

A woman has spoken of her shock after a York pub refused to serve her – even though she showed them her EU ID.

Martina Diehl, 25, is half Dutch and half English. Originally from Amsterdam, she now lives in Durham.

A former York St John University student, she returned to the city for a day out with friends on Sunday (June 26).

They went into the King’s Arms, next to the river, and ordered a pint. The woman serving at the bar asked for her ID.

“I showed her my Dutch driver’s licence, which is what I always show, and she said sorry we can’t accept that,” Martina told YorkMix.

Martina tried to explain that she had never had a problem before, having been served there a few times previously, but she said the member of staff interrupted, telling her abruptly it was “company policy”.

‘I was in shock’

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“I was really in shock, because I’ve never had any problems and I know I’m from Amsterdam which is a very multicultural city.”

Although angry she walked away without a further confrontation, but posted about her experience on Facebook writing: “Welcome to the Brexit mentality”.

Later she discovered posts online that showed it had happened to other customers at the King’s Staith pub, before the vote to leave the European Union.

“It’s been happening even before the referendum,” she said. “The vote might have strengthened their policy. I don’t know if it’s Brexit or if it’s just this pub.”

Martina said she felt really disappointed to be refused a drink at the pub, owned by Samuel Smith’s Brewery in Tadcaster, where she has enjoyed many evenings in the past.

“It’s just a shame because it’s a Sam Smith pub, and Sam Smith is famous for their vegan beer. Quite a few of my friends are vegans so we used to go there like on a vegan pub crawl when I lived there.”

‘Stick together’

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Fortunately the group enjoyed a friendlier welcome elsewhere.

“We went to El Piano which was great. The staff there were really friendly, and they let us rant to them, and they were quite shocked as well – they were like, ‘what! This never happens’.

“And then we went to Evil Eye, which is one of my favourite places to go, and that was fine.”

Many responded to Martina’s Facebook post with outrage and dismay, or posted stories from friends. Some were shocked and upset at their city, especially after it voted to remain, while others said they will now avoid the pub.

Martina said: “I think we should stick together as local people and as a country and share stories to make sure we are aware of difficulties you might face with EU IDs – especially after the Brexit divide through the country.”

YorkMix contacted the King’s Arms and we were told we had to contact Sam Smith’s Brewery for a comment.

We have contacted Sam Smith’s Brewery and left two messages but have not heard anything back. If we get a comment we will update the story.