United Kingdom Parliament’s Justice and Home Affairs Committee sent a letter to the Home Secretary Priti Patel last Monday about the new rules of travel set to apply to Britons travelling to the European Union countries next year.
In the letter signed by the Committee’s Chair, Baroness Sally Hamwee, has been raised the issue of the EU systems – the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and the Entry/Exit System (EES) – that are set to become functional next year and apply to British travellers to the block.
The letter urges the government to undertake the necessary measures in order to “address ethical, legal, logistical and political challenges arising from new border checks due to launch next year that will affect UK residents travelling to the EU.”
The Baroness also pointed out in the letter that the Committee believes that the government has not paid the necessary attention to the effect of the ETIAS or the EES on British travellers.
“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 letter reads amongst others.
The EES and the ETIAS are two new border systems that will both become effective in 2022 and will apply to British travellers, amongst others.
The EES will record facial images and fingerprints of most travellers reaching the external borders of the EU and will also register their entry to the block, their exit, as well as the period of stay. The Committee fears that the EES will cause delays at the EU’s borders and “permanently slow the flow of UK vehicles and passengers to and from the EU.”
As per the ETIAS, which is set to be launched approximately six months after the EES, it will require travellers to apply for an online travel authorization before their trip to the EU, which will cost €7.
The ETIAS authorization will be valid for a period of three years, which means that travellers will be able to travel with it as many times as they want to the EU, as long as they do not violate the permitted period of stay.
“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,” a press release of the UK Parliament notes, regarding the issue.
The Committee has also asked the Home Secretary to work more in order to raise awareness on the ETIAS and EES, insisting that updating the travel advice will not be enough. The Home Secretary has also been advised to work on a system that would be equivalent to the ETIAS.
The issue of the ETIAS and EES was discussed at the beginning of the months at the UK Lords Committee, in which also participated the country’s travel bosses. The main concern of those present in the meeting was the possibility that due to the new EU travel rules, Brits will face longer waiting times, in particular, when using the ferry ports and the Channel Tunnel.