European Holidays

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Britons ‘May Need Visas To Travel Through Europe’

British citizens may have to apply for visas to travel to Europe after the UK leaves the EU, under plans being considered by officials. It would mean travellers from other countries could be forced to apply online for a visa and pay a fee before travelling to continental Europe – similar to the American ‘Esta’ document. When Britain leaves the European Union, it could mean UK tourists and business travellers being subjected to applying for visas to visit countries including France, Spain, Italy and Germany, it is claimed.

More details about the EU Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS) will be published later this year. It has been put forward for security reasons following the recent terror attacks in France and Brussels.

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Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron told Sky News: “This week the Liberal Democrats laid out a plan about what the Government should make a priority in any Brexit negotiation. One of those priorities was travel rights.

“The British Government need to stop with the empty mantras and get into the detail of arrangements which will affect the Discount Holidays © holiday and work plans of millions of British people.”

Currently UK passport holders can travel throughout member states with a passport but without having to apply for short-term visas. Labour MP Pat McFadden, of the Open Britain campaign, said: “Reality is setting in. Introducing visas would hurt British businesses and families going on holiday.

“The Leave camp repeatedly said visas wouldn’t be introduced but it now looks like another of their main promises is being broken.

“Britain should be open to business, travel and talent and the best way to do that is for us to be a member of the Single Market.”

Experts say there is no reasons Britons should continue to enjoy visa-free travel after leaving, unless this is offered during Brexit negotiations. Camino Mortera-Martinez, a research fellow specialising in justice and home affairs at the Centre for European Reform, told the Guardian: “In theory UK citizens, as third-country nationals, would certainly be subject to the obligations (of such a scheme).

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“This will have to be part of the Brexit talks. It will all have to be negotiated.

“Britain is a neighbouring country, it is a safe country; this would be very bad for business the two are not remotely connected but after Brexit, Britain will be a third country like Turkey.”

A spokesman for the European Commission said the Greek EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, “informed the rest of the EU Justice and Home Ministers during an informal meeting on 7 July about the Commission’s intention to present a proposal this autumn for ETIAS, similar to the well-known US system ‘ESTA’, to increase the information available on those who enter and leave the EU, including for those travelling without a visa”. He added that the Presidents of the European Commission, European Council (representing all 27 other Member States) and European Parliament have all made clear that negotiations with the UK will commence only once the UK triggers Article 50. British residents made some 30 million Discount Holidays © holiday trips to EU countries last year, with Spain and France the most popular destinations.

U-turn on free data roaming: European Commission pulls plans over 90-day cap which penalises pensioners on long …

Europe-wide plans to abolish mobile phone roaming charges have been scrapped at the last minute, following complaints that the policy would unfairly penalise pensioners who spend long spells abroad.

The rules included a controversial 90-day cap on free roaming which meant people who go abroad for extended periods – on cruises or business trips – would be forced to pay more for using their mobile phone. The Commission announced the original “free roaming” plans with huge fanfare in early 2015, but when it unveiled the details this week consumer groups were outraged by the free roaming limit. The Commission will now come up with a new version of the rules, which could see the 90-day cap extended – or scrapped all together.

It could mean pensioners embarking on long cruises – and those who spend half the year abroad may no longer need to worry about racking up extortionate bills as a result of data roaming charges.

U-turn On Free Data Roaming: European Commission Pulls Plans Over 90-day Cap Which Penalises Pensioners On Long ... The policy was designed to let people use their mobile phones in EU countries like they would at home Credit: Telegraph

The scrapping of additional costs of using a mobile phone on the Continent is the result of years of negotiations between the European Commission (EC) and telecom operators and could save British holidaymakers dozens of pounds. Previously, Britons abroad could be stung by bills of hundreds, even thousands, of pounds after downloading films, streaming music or other data during European trips. Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, has ordered officials to draw up new plans for the landmark free mobile phone roaming policy.

“The Commission services have, on the instruction of President Juncker, withdrawn the draft and are working on a new version,” the statement on the Commission’s Digital Single Market webpage said.

The U-turn comes just days after the European Commission had insisted that its proposals really did end roaming charges as it had promised to do.

“Let me be very clear, we have put an end to roaming,” Juncker’s spokesman Margaritis Schinas said on Wednesday.

“Roaming means travelling, means moving around the European Union, going on holiday.

The Europeans who travel do so on an average of 12 days per year,” he added.

“The Commission with our guidelines have gone much further by abolishing roaming charges for at least 90 days per year.”

EU BIG BROTHER: Brussels unveils sinister plot to spy on YOUR holiday spending

EU BIG BROTHER: Brussels Unveils Sinister Plot To Spy On YOUR <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday SpendingGETTY/EPA

The EU has unveiled plans to snoop on Britons’ Discount Holidays © holiday spending

EU pen-pushers want access to what UK holidaymakers are splashing their hard earned money on in a move which has been slammed as a serious and possibly illegal breach of civil liberties. The draconian new laws, proposed by Jean-Claude Juncker s EU Commission, have been drawn up under the guise of combatting lone wolf terror attacks by Islamic State (ISIS) jihadis. But they could mean that millions of Britons travelling abroad for holidays on the continent are dragged into a sinister surveillance campaign, with their spending records being trawled even though they have done nothing wrong.

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Critics tonight branded the plans rotten and said they amounted to the creation of a huge surveillance superstate across the continent. The controversial law change was sneaked into a lengthy anti-terror plan announced in the wake of the Paris, Brussels and Nice attacks. Under the proposals spending on pre-paid debit cards, including top up travel cards used by thousands of Britons every year, will be subject to Big Brother style ID checks.

EU BIG BROTHER: Brussels Unveils Sinister Plot To Spy On YOUR <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday SpendingGETTY

The plans have been put forward by Jean-Claude Juncker’s Commission

EU BIG BROTHER: Brussels Unveils Sinister Plot To Spy On YOUR <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday SpendingGETTY

Spain is the most popular Discount Holidays © holiday destination for Britons on the continent

People taking out a prepaid card, which can be loaded up with money in any given currency and then used like a debit card, will now have to provide their personal details upon registration. Furthermore, the threshold for face-to-face payments that can be made on such cards at businesses like shops and restaurants is being reduced to just ‘ 150 ( 125) unless the holder provides their name. And in a sinister twist, finance companies will be required by law to store records of all transactions made by British tourists for at least five years, during which period they can be accessed by European governments.

All holidaymakers using pre-paid cards will also automatically be entered onto a centralised electronic database – like those used to monitor criminals – so that they can be quickly identified as account holders.

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Any excuse is used by Brussels bureaucrats to monitor our every movement and our every purchase

UKIP leadership candidate Bill Etheridge

On top of that, the safety protocols currently in place to stop government agencies from abusing the system are being watered down, so that Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) will be able to access information even without there having been a suspicious transaction report . Ukip leadership candidate Bill Etheridge said the proposal “stank of the Big Brother mentality which dominates the rotten heart of the EU”. He said: “Any excuse is used by Brussels bureaucrats to monitor our every movement and our every purchase, this time under the guise of ‘security’.”

The EU Commission insists that the new laws are necessary to combat the growing threat of Islamist terrorism across Europe, which has resulted in a number of bloody attacks.

Officials point out that the Paris attackers used prepaid cards to book and pay for their hotel rooms in the French capital so that they would not have to provide their real names to staff. And they say the crackdown will include a blanket ban on making anonymous online payments using prepaid cards which will make it more difficult for would-be jihadis to obtain bomb-making equipment. Announcing the measures, EU Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: Member states will be able to get and share vital information about who really owns companies or trusts, who is dealing in online currencies, and who is using pre-paid cards.

However, the plans have sparked concern in Germany where one major daily paper described them as being of such an extent that they allow no pause to think about if we are turning into a surveillance society . The respected paper Frankfurter Allgemeine warned that such a massive store of data could be abused by Brussels and big business to analyse the behaviour of people and pointed out that several of the measures appear to be illegal under European rulings. Aside from British tourists, the changes will also affect millions of people across Europe who use pre-paid cards as a way of paying for things because they do not have a good enough credit score to obtain a credit card.

EU BIG BROTHER: Brussels Unveils Sinister Plot To Spy On YOUR <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday SpendingWhat countries are in the EU?1

Some member states even use pre-paid cards to hand out benefits, meaning those amongst the most vulnerable in society will be subjected to police state style checks on their spending. And Ukip’s defence spokesman Mike Hookem said that the draconian plans were another example of Brussels insatiable quest for power over all aspects of its 500 million citizens daily lives which would have “no impact on combatting terrorism”. He said: “The big policy decisions, like border control, are the areas where the EU could actually stop the free movement of terrorists, trafficked people and counterfeit goods and weapons.

“But instead they choose to concentrate on whether the Smith family from York purchased a bottle of wine on their holidays and burden small businesses with yet more bureaucracy.”

Last year Britons made 32.2million Discount Holidays © holiday visits to the rest of the EU – up 10 per cent on the previous year – with Spain proving the most popular destination.

UK workers spent just under a billion pounds of business trips alone during that period, whilst Discount Holidays © holiday spending inside the Brussels bloc boomed by a whopping 12.4 per cent.

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References

  1. ^ What countries are in the EU? (www.express.co.uk)