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Brits may now need a €60 visa to visit EU

The European Commission is deciding whether Brits will have to apply for visas to visit the rest of Europe after Brexit.

What it means: Any Brits here fans of last-minute jaunts to Brussels to try out the latest craft beer or cheeky budget breaks in Benidorm? You might want to get those in while you still can. That’s cos the European Commission might take away Brit’s ability to go the Schengen area (a group of 26 European countries) without a visa after Brexit Day (29th March 2019). If that happens, Brits who want to travel to most of Europe will have to fill in a three-page form, pay €60, and wait six weeks for a visa.

Will it happen? Maybe not. The EU lets lots of non-EU citizens visit visa-free. And if Britain manages to work out a deal with the EU about Brexit, a visa-free deal is likely to be part of it. That’s cos there’s big benefits to making it cheap and easy for Brits to visit the continent: British tourists spend £33 billion a yearin Europe (and make up a quarter of all holidaymakers who visit Spain). And British businesspeople frequently flit across to European countries to share expertise and conduct business deals (Brits make 6.8 million business trips a year).

But even if Britain strikes a deal and/or the European Commission rules that a no-deal Britain can get off visa-free, it might still be harder for Brits to travel to the continent than they’re used to. That’s because the EU, compelled by their citizens’ rising concern over terrorism and migration, has announced a new system to make its borders harder to cross.

Called the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) it will require non-EU visitors to get “advanced authorisation” before visiting. That means - you guessed it - applying in advance, as well as paying a fee to do so. Britain could probably get out of ETIAS if it allowed freedom of movement between it and the EU, but considering how keen Brexiteers are on controlling Britain’s borders and specifically on stopping freedom of movement, that seems a bit of a no-go.

Read our explainer on borders.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?