UK holidaymakers to Europe ‘could face €7 fee’

British holidaymakers wanting to visit Europe after Brexit reportedly face a €7 fee and an online application process after the government outlined new immigration rules yesterday.

Europeans wanting to visit Britain on holiday would have to submit to security and criminal records checks before they arrive in the country under a plan announced by prime minister Theresa May at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

However, The Times quoted sources in Europe as saying that this would automatically result in British citizens having to participate in the European Union’s new travel authorisation system, which is due to come into effect in 2021.

British citizens would have to apply online before travelling and pay a €7 fee for authorisation lasting up to three years. The system is similar to that used in the US.

“The new migration regime is for the UK to set,” an EU source said after May’s round of broadcast interviews. “We have two principles in this – reciprocity and also non-discrimination between EU nationals.”

The European parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, dismissed parts of the plan, outlined by home secretary Sajid Javid, under which low-skilled EU citizens would be excluded from coming to work in the UK.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, also criticised the plan and said: “Restricting access to the workers the UK needs is self-defeating. By dismissing the importance of low-skilled workers to the economy, the government risks harming businesses and living standards now and in the future.”

Retailers argued that immigration policy should not differentiate between high-skilled and low-skilled workers.

Ministers are expected to publish a white paper in the coming weeks in readiness for an immigration bill next year, setting out details of how the new system will work.

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