British travellers could have to provide biometric data to travel in Europe after Brexit, peer says

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Ludford

British holidaymakers could have to provide their criminal record, immigration history and biometric data to travel in Europe after Brexit, peers have heard.

Baroness Ludford warned that after the UK leaves the European Union those wishing to head to the continent may face "significant" fees and four-day waits for approval to travel.

The Liberal Democrats' Brexit spokeswoman said if Brexit happenned, people would have to apply for a US-style visa waiver scheme.

Speaking during Oral Questions in the Lords, Baroness Ludford said: "All a British citizen needs to do at present to go on holiday to Spain or business in Germany is to present a passport at the border.

"If we Brexit they will have to apply for an ETIAS [European Travel Information and Authorisation System], similar to a US ESTA [Electronic System for Travel Authorisation].

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"The fee could become significant and it could take four days for approval.

"And this will require the supply of biometric data, details of health, criminal record and previous immigration history."

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She asked: "Has the government levelled, when will it level, with the British people about how this is another example of Brexit increasing cost and red tape?

"Isn't it another reason why the British people should be able to choose to exit from Brexit?"

Responding for the Government, Brexit minister Lord Callanan said: "No it isn't, my Lords.

"[Baroness Ludford] is making a whole series of assumptions in her question - none of which may turn out to be true.

"We are still to have the discussions with the EU on the future relationship in terms of how people will travel backwards and forwards, so when we've had those discussions, when we've reached a conclusion, we will be sure to let her know."

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