When returning from a long holiday, rather than the usual cursory glance at the passport and wave through, the person behind the passport control desk started asking a whole load of rather intrusive questions. I am a British citizen returning to the UK. I didn't feel like telling a complete stranger about my life so I just gave some short snippy general answers. Is it acceptable to just tell them its none of their business and walk away? (Note: this is specifically for the U.K. not the US as the other questions I found)
The Home Office was asked in 2015, what the legal basis for such questioning is. Here is their answer.
Assuming that you are an EEA national, Border Force officers can ask you any questions that allow them to establish your identity and nationality. This may include questions about your travel history. The EEA Regulations 2006 specify that an EEA national must produce a valid passport or identity card to establish their nationality and identity however if does not specify how the Border officer should establish the validity of these travel documents. Questioning EEA passengers is one of the ways that Border Force officers can quickly verify if a document is likely to be valid.
I think it is fair to summarize that general questions about your recent travel history and other matters relating to your identity are fair game. This might include your place of birth, place of residence, et c. You may be entitled to decline to answer more invasive questions.
I am a British citizen returning to the UK. I didn't feel like telling a complete stranger about my life so I just gave some short snippy general answers.
I think that is a very British response.
As a pragmatic answer, I suggest you use the e-gates, because there you (usually) don't have to talk to anyone. These days I leave my earphones in from plane seat to home, and the airport staff get the message that I don't want to talk.
Is it acceptable to just tell them its none of their business and walk away?
It is not acceptable to walk away. In principle you, as a British citizen, do not need anyone's permission to enter the UK, but you are not going to get very far until you have satisfied the Border Force that you are a British citizen.
From personal anecdote, I once declined to answer "Where have you come from today?" on the basis that I could not remember. (It was a long week.) The officer looked more sympathetic than suspicious.
If you are unhappy with the questioning you receive, you can ask to speak with the Border Force Duty Manager for the terminal in question, although this is unlikely to expedite your entry.
The interviewer has to establish that you are a British citizen, that your passport is genuine and that it genuinely belongs to you. Often this is done with the cursory glance you mention, but there could have been something to make him or her wonder.
Asking questions is one way to go about this inquiry. A genuine citizens with a genuine passport should be able to give the expeced answers. They don't necessarily expect coherent answers at 0030hrs, just typical ones. If that is enough to resolve the concerns, the immigration officer thanks the citizen and takes no further steps.
Saying absolutely nothing would not be a typical response and might cause further inquiries and delays.