Brexit blow: UK travellers to get passports stamped in EU over lack of technology

Britain’s negotiating time had requested UK nationals be given the right to use EU citizens lane after the transition period ends on January 1. But they were told this would not be possible. This is understood to be because of a lack of technology which means the electronic e-gates used in the Schengen zone does not have the facility to accommodate “third country” nationals.

A source told The Telegraph: “The technology is being developed in the next couple of years and, when it is available, it should be possible for UK nationals to use it – but until then they will have to queue for a stamp in their passports.”

This would involve a physical inspection.

Non-EU nationals from pre-cleared countries including Australia, Japan, South Korea and the US can use e-gates at British airports but this is not possible in the Schengen zone.

The Schengen Zone refers to the area of Europe which does not have any border controls.

22 of the 27 EU member states are within the zone.

Of the remaining five, four – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are legally obliged to join in the future.

The fifth, The Republic Of Ireland retains an opt-out.

Four non EU states – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have signed agreements to make them members.

Three non EU microstates – Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City are de facto part of the bloc.

This is because they have open borders with EU member states.

EU officials have also confirmed a US style visa waiver scheme had been delayed until 2023.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System will require non-EU nationals from around 60 nations to pay €7 (£6.36) to obtain authorisation to travel to the UK via free.


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The UK was expected to be one of those countries with the plan rolled out by the end of 2021 with full implementation by the end of 2022.

The UK Government have said visa-free travel to EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland for up to 90 days in an 180 day period will still be possible after January 1.

Longer stays or business holidays may require visas, with the Government warning that travellers should check professional qualifications are recognised.

Travellers may also have to show a “return or onward ticket” and prove they have enough money to stay.

The guarantee of free mobile roaming charges is expected to end.

Britain has until the end of the year to negotiate a free trade agreement and future relationship with Brussels.

For an extension to happen, it must be agreed and ratified by both sides before July 1.

Boris Johnson has introduced legislation preventing Britain from extending.

In the transition period, EU rules will continue to apply.

Britain officially left the EU on January 31 this year.

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