Brussels has published the draft legislation for dealing with “visa-exempt third country nationals”, which is what British travellers will become after the UK leaves the EU.
The new regulations will increase the cost and complexity of holidays and business trips to the Schengen Area, which includes 22 EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Red tape for travellers will be more tangled, with UK passport holders forced to pay for an online permit even for a “booze cruise” to Calais, a weekend in Amsterdam or a Northern Lights trip to the Arctic.
A proposed “EU Travel Information and Authorisation System” (ETIAS) aims to identify anyone thought to pose “a security, or irregular illegal immigration or public health risk”. The scheme aims to reduce risks by obliging prospective visitors to anywhere in the Schengen Area to fill in a detailed online form. They must provide details of “his or her identity, travel document, residence information, contact details, education and current occupation”.
Travellers will also have to answer questions about their state of health, particularly any infectious diseases.Thus, millions of on-line applications will need to be checked and maintained, while the fees will need to be received and accounted for. Do you suppose that our masters are remotely capable of effectively administering such a system?