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EU news: ‘Hope their industry goes down pan!’ Furious Britons lash out at Brussels | UK | News

UK travellers will have to stump up the £6 fee every three years as part of the European Union’s new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). ETIAS will see more than 60 countries outside the Schengen free-travel zone having to pre-register for visa-free travel to the continent. The pre-authorisation fee is likely to apply to some 40 million people, but under 18s and over 70s will not have to pay it.

Brussels officials have insisted 95 percent of all applications will be approved almost immediately, but those arriving in Europe without the required authorisation risk being deported back to the UK.

Travellers to the continent will have to hand over information about their identity, passport, education, profession, recent travel and criminal convictions.

These details will be taken by the EU’s Frontex border agents and checked against numerous crime-fighting and migration databases.

If approved, the visas will remain valid for three years and can be used for an unlimited number of trips.

Travel firms will also be under strict orders to “systematically check” all passengers before boarding or risk paying fines and repatriation costs.

But the move to charge Britons a fee to travel to Europe has infuriated many, and in reaction to our initial story, one Express.co.uk reader raged: “I hope their tourist industry, which depends on us Brits, goes down the pan.”

A second person fumed: “I won’t be stumping up any fee.

“I have zero intentions of putting any of my money in their pockets. I don’t buy their goods either.

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Another simply added: “Won’t make a difference to me. I won’t be going.”

Someone else said: “I hope their tourist industry, which depends on us Brits, goes down the pan!”

Britons will be required to register for the scheme before travelling to popular tourist destinations such as France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

But those travelling to Ireland won’t require an ETIAS as the country’s is outside the Schengen zone.

The European Commission said: “The rules entering into force today detail how ETIAS will work with other EU information systems it will query when conducting checks, namely the Entry/Exit System, the Visa Information System, the Schengen Information System and a centralised system for the identification of Member States holding conviction information on non-EU nationals.

“The set-up of ETIAS forms part of the EU’s ongoing work to put in place a state-of-the-art external border management system and making sure that information systems work together in an intelligent and targeted way.

“ETIAS will not change which non-EU countries are subject to a visa requirement and will also not introduce a new visa requirement for nationals of countries that are visa-exempt.

“Visa-exempt non-EU nationals will only need a few minutes to fill in an online application which in a vast majority of cases (expected to be over 95 percent) will result in automatic approval.

“The process will be simple, fast and affordable: the ETIAS authorisation will cost €7, which will be a one-off fee, and will be valid for three years and for multiple entries.”





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