Government must protect UK holidaymakers from “more cost, more hassle and more delays” after Brexit

Tomorrow (Monday), ministers from EU countries will meet in Brussels to discuss the creation of a new entry and exit authorisation system for travellers wanting to visit the European Union from outside.

Under this system, UK nationals, once the UK has left the EU, would have to obtain a travel authorisation before their trip, via an online application. The information submitted will be verified and each application will be automatically processed against other EU databases to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to issue or refuse a travel authorisation.

Under the current proposals, UK passport holders would need to apply online at a cost of €5 per visa-waiver application to travel to the Schengen zone. This would mean anyone travelling to Europe – be it for a city break or a week on the beach – would need to get authorisation. 

Brits going on holiday would face additional cost and hassle, while delays would increase at airports, cross-Channel ferry ports, and on the Eurostar. 

With the UK leaving the EU, therefore, Brits could be subject to this cost after Brexit, unless the Government can negotiate an opt-out for UK nationals. Leave campaigners dismissed as “garbage” claims during the referendum campaign that Brexit would make holidaying in Europe more expensive.

Commenting, Mary Creagh MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“British families looking forward to an Easter break, a summer holiday or a long weekend in Europe risk being stung with more cost, more hassle and more delays after Brexit.

“European governments look set to implement stricter visa systems on people entering the EU. Leave campaigners told us that we would not be affected if we voted for Brexit but it seems that they were wrong.

“The Government needs to stand up for holidaymakers and negotiate an exemption for Brits entering the EU in future. No one voted on June 23rd for a Brexit holiday tax.”


Notes to editors:


The EU’s Justice and Home Affairs Council will meet on Monday and Tuesday. They say: “The Council will take stock of work on the proposals to reform the common European asylum system, as well as the proposal on a European travel and information authorisation system (ETIAS) and the proposals on an entry/exit system.”

The proposals at present are as follows:

Entry/Exit System (EES)*

“The entry-exit system will apply to third country nationals, both those requiring a visa and those who are visa-exempt, admitted for a short stay of 90 days in any 180-day period. It will register entry, exit and refusal of entry. It will also store information on identity and travel documents as well as biometric data. 

“The package also includes a revised proposal for a regulation amending the Schengen Borders Code to integrate the technical changes that result from the proposed EES. These changes will make self-service systems and e-gates accessible to third country nationals, enabling automated processing of certain steps of the control process and enabling the creation of national facilitation programmes by member states who wish to implement them.”

European travel information and authorisation system (ETIAS)

“The Council will take stock of work on the proposal on a European travel and information authorisation system (ETIAS). 

“This proposal will allow for advance checks of visa-exempt travellers and, if necessary, deny authorisation to travel. It will contribute to improving internal security and reducing border delays by identifying persons who may pose a security risk or a risk of illegal migration before they arrive at the external borders.  Under this system, third country nationals who do not need a visa to travel to the EU will have to obtain a travel authorisation before their trip, via an online application.”

Back in November, it was reported that the new visa system could cost travellers €5 a time:

Leave campaigners said Brexit would not make travelling to Europe any more difficult or expensive:

In his Telegraph op-ed on June 26th 2016, Boris Johnson promised: “British people will still be able to go and work in the EU; to live; to travel; to study; to buy homes and to settle down.”

Leave campaigners dismissed warnings that Brexit could make holidaying in Europe more difficult and more expensive, including Tory MP Marcus Fysh, Vote Leave CEO Matthew Elliott, and former Downing Street policy chief Steve Hilton.