BRUSSELS: European sources say Brussels planning to make visitors from UK complete online applications. The claim comes after PM Theresa May announced last week at the Conservative Party Conference that Europeans seeking to visit the UK on holiday post-Brexit would “have to submit to security and criminal records checks before they arrive”.
AS was expected that the British prime minister’s plan would “automatically result in British citizens having to participate in the European Union’s new travel authorisation system”, due to come into effect in 2021.
May’s proposal is widely viewed as an attempt to streamline access to the UK for citizens of so-called “low-risk countries”. EU citizens currently get fast-tracked through e-gates while tourists or businessmen from countries like Japan and Australia have to queue for passport control.
Talking to BBC Radio 4’s this week, the PM said: “The question of business travel, of tourism, will be part of negotiations. We’ve put forward a proposal which is based on a reciprocal arrangement. We’re looking to negotiate movement of people for those purposes.”
But the EU source told that British citizens may have to apply online before being allowed to travel, along with paying a £6.20 fee for authorisation lasting up to three years. The system is similar to that used in the United States.
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, has criticised the UK government’s plans to end freedom of movement and adopt a skills-based migration system, under which low-skilled EU citizens would be excluded from coming to work in the UK.
“We will never accept discrimination based on skills and nationality,” he said. “We will never give in and undermine the principles of our union. We will never undermine the principles of the European project to rescue a political party in Britain who is not even capable to find a common line on the exit of the mess Brexit.”