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May 6, 2023

New Biometric Checks Will Ease Travel From UK, EU Commission

The Commission of the European Union has said that the new automated checks that are soon to become effective at the borders of the EU will facilitate travel for all travellers from the United Kingdom.

Such a statement from the Commission was made not long after the Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak, said that the government wants to make a deal with the EU to facilitate travel to the bloc for Britons, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Currently, all citizens of the UK need to have their passports manually stamped when entering any EU member state. They should also go through the checks on the line for non-EU citizens, which in most cases has longer waiting times due to the procedures that need to be completed.

In order to make travel to the EU easier for all citizens, Sunak said earlier this week that he is planning to ask the EU to let Britons pass through the EU e-gates for passport checks.

According to Telegraph, the UK government wants to call on the member states of the EU to follow the example led by Portugal and Spain and allow Britons to be able to enter their territory by using e-gates instead of going through regular checks intended for third-country travellers.

Commenting on the plans of the country, the spokesperson of Prime Minister Sunak said that the authorities are looking at ways to minimise unnecessary waiting times when travelling to and from the UK. The spokesperson further said that Sunak is dedicated to improving relations with Brussels and continuing the success of the Windsor Framework.

While the UK is pushing for the EU countries to facilitate the travel rules for Britons, a formal approach about a deal between the UK and EU to open up passport e-gates for Britons is unlikely to happen until the Entry/Exit System (EES) goes live.

Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the coming into force of the EES had been postponed again.

According to the Independent, the electronic border scheme, which replaces passport stamping with digital registration of people that enter and leave the Schengen Area, among others, is not ready to be launched as planned.

The same source claimed that the next date for the launch of EES is believed to be May 2024. However, there is also the possibility of the system being launched later new year, after the summer Olympics set to be held in France between July 26 and August 11 are over.

>> France Wants to Postpone Introduction of Entry/Exit System Until Paris Olympics Is Over