UK Parliament Asks Government to Protect Britons’ Rights in New EU Travel Rules

November 24, 2021
Protect Britons’ rights in new EU travel rules

The UK parliament has called on the government to protect Britons’ rights in new EU travel rules.

Last Monday, the Justice and Home Affairs Committee sent a letter to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary. The letter concerns the new travel rules applicable to Brits traveling to the EU in 2022.

Measures Are Necessary to Protect Britons’ Rights

The Committee’s Chair Baroness Sally Hamwee signed the letter warning of the EU’s systems – the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and the Entry/Exit System (EES). Both methods are expected to be in effect in 2022 and applicable to all Britons.

The letter asks the government to take the steps necessary to “address ethical, legal, logistical, and political challenges arising from new border checks due to launch next year that will affect UK residents traveling to the EU.”

The Baroness also stressed that the Committee believed the government had not paid the required attention to ETIAS’s and EES’s effect to protect Britons’ rights in new EU travel rules.

The letter reads, “Continuous EES checks are expected permanently to slow the flow of UK vehicles and passengers to and from the EU. If Schengen entry checks take more than a few seconds, within minutes cars can’t move forward.”

The two new border systems EES and ETIAS, will come into effect next year and apply to all Britons.

EES Could Cause Delays

EES will register facial photos and fingerprints of most people reaching the EU’s external borders and record their point of entry, exit, and period of stay. The Committee thinks EES will cause delays at the borders of the European Union and “permanently slow the flow of UK vehicles and passengers to and from the EU.”

ETIAS will be launched about half a year after EES, and travelers will have to apply for online travel authorization before their trip to the EU, which will cost € 7.

The ETIAS authorization will be valid for three years. In other words, people can travel to the EU with it as many times as they want, but they must not violate the allowed period of stay.

A press release of the UK Parliament noted, “The system will automatically process applications to assess whether an applicant poses security, illegal immigration, or high epidemic risk. This involves checks against EU and Interpol security databases and algorithmic profiling. Under this system, an unknown proportion of UK citizens will lose their right to travel to the EU.”

The Committee has also urged the Home Secretary to work more to raise ETIAS and EES awareness. It insisted that updating the travel advice would not suffice. Also, the Committee reminded the Home Secretary to work on a system equivalent to ETIAS.

ETIAS and EES were debated at the UK Lords Committee, where the country’s travel bosses participated. The main concern was the likelihood of Britons facing longer waiting times when using ferry ports and the Channel Tunnel.

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