UK presses for use of faster passport gates at EU airports post-Brexit
Exclusive: European commission insists letting UK nationals use e-gates would breach EU law
Last modified on Fri 23 Oct 2020 14.06 BSTBoris Johnson has clashed with Brussels over an 11th-hour attempt to save British passport holders from hours of delays at European airports from the end of the year.The government is seeking continued use by UK nationals of the automatic e-gates used by EU nationals at airports and Eurostar terminals. The move is seen by the European commission as an attempt to keep Britons in faster lanes rather than having to queue up with the rest of the world after the end of the transition period.
Studies suggest the loss of access to automatic gates and the need for extra passport checks could delay Britons by an extra hour as they move through some European airports. The issue has been raised in the ongoing trade and security negotiations, and the government has made contact with a number of member states in an attempt to retain access to the e-gates.
The commission is adamant that giving UK nationals such a right would breach EU law. “The Schengen border code is restrictive on this,” says one internal EU document seen by the Guardian.It is understood that the commission called in representatives of the member states for a presentation on “treating UK nationals at the Schengen borders” after the issue was raised by the British negotiating team.
At the meeting on 12 October, it was asked whether e-gates could be opened to UK nationals carrying biometric passports. The commission responded: “No, EU law currently reserves use of e-gates to holders of EU/EEA/CH passports.” CH is the country code for Switzerland. Iceland , Liechtenstein and Norway are in the European economic area (EEA) but not the EU.
A senior EU diplomat said: “Having grown up in Brussels, Boris Johnson values the ability to travel freely to the continent. So it is perfectly apt that the UK is now asking the EU to change its own laws to accommodate London on something it always had. We are probably in for another re-run of ‘the EU is being unfair’, ‘we’re only asking for a Canada-style deal’. It isn’t.”
The UK allows citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the US, Singapore and South Korea to use biometric passports to pass through automatic gates on arrival. The government has said in a paper on the UK’s post-Brexit border operating model that it will “ensure that EU, EEA and Swiss citizens may also continue to use our e-passport gates and the existing queueing arrangements”.
But in a sign that EU intransigence on the issue could lead to a tit-for-tat restriction on European travellers, the paper adds that “this will be kept under review”.The commission has advised the member states that the e-gates could be used where a UK national is exiting its territory, but not on entry. The member state would have to have a national entry-exit system and the passport of the British national would need to be stamped, reducing the benefits of use of the automated border control.
Officials at one of Europe’s biggest airports, Schiphol in Amsterdam, through which roughly 5 million people travel from the UK each year, expect British travellers to face considerable delays. As it stands, Britons spend on average around 25 seconds at the passport control desk at Schiphol. It is estimated this will increase to 40-45 seconds next year due to the need for additional document checks.
With each person taking longer to get through passport control, it could take between 50 minutes and an hour more for a passenger on a busy flight to get through the system.It is understood that EU capitals have been informed that it may be possible for UK nationals to use the e-gates at some point in 2022 should a new IT project registering entry and exit be rolled out by the EU on current schedule. The system’s introduction has already been delayed by two years.
The European commission and the Home Office declined to comment. Read more: The Guardian »
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too late, you are OUT of Europe, good luck now. Just why? This was given up in Brexit. Brexiteers & Govt new this was a perk UK would be losing. Can’t leave a club and want membership perks. Ultimate Karen move. Immature To keep us out of Europe. The Uk doesn't want us escaping. Why when the uk won’t give their cousins on the peninsula faster passport gates. Who made this country a special case, respect your family and maybe they’ll respect you back.
Clearly things are not going well for Johnson and his conspirators No. You wanted out. Deal with the consequences. But the UK has left the EU. Speedy transit through EU airports is a benefit we chose to give up when leaving. We now have to join the non-EU queue as a price for that choice. This was explained in 2016 Brexit BrexitReality takingbackcontrol
'Brexit means Brexit!' Brexiteers wanted to leave with their blue passports so we left. EU isn't going to, nor should it be expected to, give benefits of EU membership to 3rd party countries without those countries taking on the responsibilities of membership. You voted for this! The headline for this could have just read Brexiteers = Bigger dickheads than cats
Do the UK negotiators know how clubs work? They tend to have facilities and rules and a membership system. Brexit means Brexit,, who was it said that, . So many things lost, for so little gain Brexit is a fools paradise No! You wanted your sovereignty and your blue passports back and you gave up all the privileges of EU membership. You get to stand in line with the rest of us non-EU plebs. For hours. And hours. And hours. Signed, a Canadian.
This will be reciprocal. If U.K. citizens can’t use the gates in Europe, then Europeans can’t use them in the U.K. daft enough to remain To Lisa .Now we have left E U just when does the fun begin ?Do you imagine food and drug shortages are particularly enjoyable ? Perhaps you are anticipating an endless orgy of Moris dancing ,beer drinking ,knees up Mother Brown ,and beating up such of the few foriegners
Surely this is a mute point - after Brexit with its sunlit uplands and everyone prospering mightily there will be no need to ever leave the country. Get in line Ahahahahah Buahahahahahahahahahahahahah ::breathe:: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ::breathe:: Nope I’m sure they’ll be so desperate to help with that, falling over themselves to prevent English queueing. Or not.
Should have thought of that beforehand. Must not happen. Unreal. I don’t look forward to this but why on earth would the EU give us clearance to walk through an EC passport channel when we’ve left? It’s not like we’ve left the easy door open for them to visit... I was hoping for smaller queues at the EU passport gates without the British. Now with extra questions for British citizens it will take me longer for eu citizens in the queue. Britain doesn't want faster passport gates or deserve it.
It's a special little island, alright. The biggest joke of the week! Your Brexit, your shit ! You will queue up for hours like anybody else! If you leave the club that’s what happens. BJ wanted out. Should have thought of this before. Why? Not even in the bathrooms... I think U.K. arrivals should have to join rest of world non eu lanes after all that’s what the voted for
I do hope the EU tells our pathetic government to piss off! No. Let the Island trash know what line they're in; the loosing one. Dear EU_Commission - I'm a UK citizen, and I would prefer to wait in the queue if it means following the rules and that the Brexiters have to wait as well. They voted for this. BorisJohnson and the Conservatives know full well what they did to us - they need to face it.
Feck off! Neverending British exceptionalism. The bloody gall of even requesting this. Still want the cake and eat it. It seems like the UK wants to bake its own cake and eat it too... 😁 Why would they get special passport control? Into the line with all other non EU citizens, no special treatment for one specific country.... that’s racist and completely not fair to everyone else
Pathetic Fat chance. The Brits will be in the slowest line at EU airports post Brexut. Why? HaHaHa. it's what you voted for chumps. Boris and Gove will be on private jets. Kkkk bando de arrombado To be fair the queue was always shorter at the 'all other passports lane' so I used to use that while the sheep stacked up in the EU lane.
When you leave a club, you no longer get club benefits... it's not difficult to understand now is it? 🤣🤣🤣🤣 Let them wait they can look at their blue passports to pass the time. Clean break means long 'other countries' line guys (I'm talking to brexiters). You voted for this Me going past the long slow queues with my lovely EU passport
well.. they can.. as soon as they join either EU either EEA ... in full... obligations too.. not benefits only Because for the past decade the UK has given EU passport holders such a privilege? Ten years of Nationals — EU & Others, now they want special treatment Bit bloody late. Remainers only allowed !...lol..
You will also need a scan of your credit card to prove you have funds and to auto deduct fines for over staying and other offences...They were testing this at Alicante airport about a year ago...Welcome to post brexit uk with worthless passports. The laughingstocks of the world. Embarrassing Tough. Should have thought about this before they wanted Brexit
From the outside, it seems that the UK wants all the privileges and benefits of membership but without the responsibility of being a member. 🤦🏼♂️ Sod off, UK, no membership, no membership-related privileges. BREXIT MEANS BREXIT! EU: If you join EFTA we will consider it. Otherwise you need to pay 50 million EU to change the signs & documents.
They just trying to be aerosols cos we're leaving A non-story. Airports whose local economies rely on British tourism will make whatever investments are necessary to ensure British tourists are not inconvenienced - or have angry locals to deal with. Canadian here: get in line with the rest of us! They'll change their minds quickly enough once the covid epidemic is over and people want to go to Europe to holiday again.
Whilst going for No Deal. Good luck with that...
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Why are UK and EU still arguing over Brexit?More than four years after Britain voted to leave the European Union , the two sides are still arguing over their post-Brexit relations Because Brexit is stupid and impossible to deliver without damaging the economy, the Union or both. Despite the fact that all of the UN Security Council Resolutions (822,853,874,884) reaffirm sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan Republic,Armenia refuses to follow them DontBelieveArmenia StopArmenianTerrorism ArmeniaEndTheOccupation KarabakhisAzerbaijan Because the Independent and remainers have withdrawn losers consent. Therefore permanent losers is what they have become.
UK farmers call for EU workers to bypass Covid quarantinePoultry industry warns of Christmas turkey shortage if EU workers not allowed in Not sure the Brexiters will be happy about EU nationals getting special treatment.. Translated as: Farmers need skilled EU poultry processing workers because there aren't enough British ones. Can’t they have these airport tests? Worth it to farmers - isn’t it? Nfu pay through emergency fund?
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