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What changes after Jan 31st
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userBrian Kirby
Posted: 7 February 2020 12:32 PM
Subject: RE: What changes after Jan 31st
 


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747 - 2020-02-04 7:25 PM

Brian Kirby - 2020-02-04 6:36 PM

Good find Paul. I don't think 747 fully read the link before posting!

The reason the EU are introducing the rule is clearly stated (enhanced border security) plus that it applies to the 61 other "third countries" that are granted visa free access to the Schengen area, so is not Brexit related (other than "we" apparently voted for it! ).

After all, it is quite usual for states to decide how they wish to police their borders. Although the EU is not a "state" (it is technically a confederation of nation states) the introduction of ETIAS is policy agreed by all 27 member states and, as pointed out within the link, is a form of border control that mirrors current practice in the USA and elsewhere.

It is for the EU to decide what they consider necessary, and it seems they have.


Can you show me where the British Government has said it will require a similar system for EU Nationals Brian? If that is so then I will apologise. My understanding was that EU Nationals could travel to the UK on a Passport, the only restrictions would apply to coming here for employment purposes once a new system was in place.

I'm not expecting, or looking for, an apology.

Your post said "A totally unnecessary bit of red tape which will not be echoed by Britain but sounds about right for the EU". I read that to mean that you saw this as a measure introduced by the EU specifically against the UK. Otherwise, why would you comment in that vein?

I was pointing out in reply that it applies to all "third countries" irrespective of their previous relationship with the EU except that, because of that previous relationship, the UK will join the group of 61 other third countries that are eligible for the visa waiver. All those measures are currently in place for third countries under Schengen, and have been since 1999 when the open borders agreement was introduced under the Amsterdam Treaty - with opt-outs for UK and Ireland.

Before Brexit neither EU nationals, nor UK nationals, were subject to visa requirements when visiting other EU states - whether or not signatories to the Schengen Treaty. They only affect the UK now because, after Brexit, we become a third country in Schengen terms.

ETIAS is merely an electronic passport recognition and recording system that automates the Schengen border controls for third country visitors - so eliminating the present need to stamp passports and manually calculate compliance with the 90 days in 180 days travel duration. It has been in planning since 2012 (under EU LISA), and has no causal relationship to Brexit. Having left the EU, we are now subject to the same third country travel restrictions under Schengen and will/would be so whether or nor not ETIAS is/has been introduced. (For so long as we remain in the Transition period it seems the 90 days in 180 days rule probably does not apply to UK nationals travelling to EU/Schengen states, but I cannot find authoritative confirmation that this is so.)

The ETIAS website states:

"The European Commission said British citizens will not need visas to visit the European Union for short-term stays. However, this policy recommendation is dependent on the UK continuing to offer reciprocal visa-free access to European Union citizens.

On February 1, 2019, the European Council stated: "According to EU rules, visa exemption is granted on condition of reciprocity. The government of the United Kingdom has stated that it does not intend to require a visa from EU citizens travelling to the UK for short stays". (My bold)

That reciprocity has yet to be formalised during the negotiations on the future relationship, but the above, as a statement of intent, seems clear enough to me. However, that arrangement would end if the UK government decided to introduce visa requirements for visitors from just one EU member state. So, the visa waiver depends on the continuance of that mutual agreement that no visas are required.
user747
Posted: 7 February 2020 7:33 PM
Subject: RE: What changes after Jan 31st
 


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So I was right then Brian. But as you say, things may change during negotiations.
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