Sunday, 26 March, 2017

There have been, and still are, many questions about the outcome of the vote to leave the EU.  Hopefully soon, and in time, these questions will be addressed and answered, but it is a complicated and complex issue.

There are so many components to our leaving the EU, and one of them is regarding travel to and from the EU to the UK.

One of the main reasons people voted to leave the EU was to limit immigration.  How this will be done has yet to be revealed.  And there also is the concerns about those immigrants that are already living here in the UK, and the UK citizens who now live abroad.

One issue that has recently been questioned is the concern that UK citizens may be required to have Visa’s in order to enter the EU.  This is not in retaliation to the fact we may require the same, but for both sides to be able to monitor and control the comings and goings of people into their countries.

Currently if you wish to go abroad, for a holiday or for whatever reason, you simply purchase your ticket(s), take your passport and go.

There are some debates within the European Union that may propose that the “26-nation passport-free Schengen zone”, of which the UK is not a part of, could begin a Visa programme for visitors.  The Visa programme would be similar to the programme used in the United States.

Beginning a few years back the United States began their ESTA/Electronic System for Travel Authorisation programme.

In order for any non-US citizens to travel to the states, they must first go online, complete an ESTA form, which asks questions about the nature of the trip and personal details, and also pay a fee which is around £11.

Once the ESTA has been approved, in some instances it is approved immediately, the person can travel to and within the United States.  The forms and approval are good for two (2) years.

MP Pat McFadden of the Open Britain campaign stated, “Reality is setting in. Introducing visas would hurt British businesses and families going on holiday.”

“The Leave camp repeatedly said visas wouldn’t be introduced but it now looks like another of their main promises is being broken.” 

It really is not the “leave camps” decision to make.  If the European Union decides to implement a Visa programme to enter the EU, they can do so.

It also is something that can be a part of the negotiation process when we formally begin the process of leaving the EU.

As to what the cost of such a Visa would be, currently there is a fee of £50 for non-EU residents who wish to visit the Schengen zone.

Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham said, “This is yet another example of the drift and confusion as a result of the Government’s failure to plan for Brexit.”

“Ministers should not just accept there’s a cost of £50 for the average family to go on holiday.”

“The Home Secretary’s words will not have reassured ordinary families about the cost of Brexit. She seems to be sympathetic to an idea that will put a flat £50 tax on the average family holiday in Europe.”

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