Tue, Feb 21, 2017 | updated 06:19 PM IST

EU interior ministers to discuss plan to charge Britons visiting Europe after Brexit

Updated: Nov 15, 2016 16:49 IST

London [United Kingdom], Nov. 15 (ANI): European Union interior ministers will be discussing a plan this week under which Britons will face a 10 pound charge to travel to the EU after Brexit.

The British diplomat now in charge of European security has already backed the plan for a European version of the US visa waiver programme, reports The Guardian.

Evidence will be provided by the European Commissioner for the Security Union, Sir Julian King today as he described the plan as "a valuable additional piece of the jigsaw" in the war against international terrorism.

King said that a proposal will be presented this week for a pre-clearance entry system for those travelling from outside the EU.

"We think this is going to be a valuable additional piece of the jigsaw because it will allow us to know more about the people who are planning to come to the EU in advance so that if necessary they raise questions about either security or in some cases migration. We'll be able to intervene even before they arrive in some cases," said King.

The EU commission plan following the Brexit could entail British and other non-European citizens to pay for their travel if they are visiting the 26 European countries that make up the Schengen zone.

British passport holders currently are allowed to travel throughout EU member states without having to apply for short-term visas, but following Brexit, questions have been raised by EU over the criteria that will be needed for UK citizens to visit the Schengen area.

King said, "It's that level of present, persistent, indiscriminate threat that led to 80-plus per cent of European citizens saying they want more action in this area."

"There are a number of elements at the heart of this task - tackling terrorism is one but not the only part of it. There's work that needs to be done on cybercrime and attacks, and serious and organised crime. On terrorism there were a number of things already in hand," he added.

The European visa waiver scheme alongside the refreshed counter-terrorism package will be considered by EU interior ministers, including the British home secretary, Amber Rudd, this Friday at a regular meeting of justice and home affairs ministers.

The refreshed EU counter-terrorism strategy includes criminalising travel between Europe and Syria or Iraq, making it more difficult to get hold of deactivated firearms and stepping up pressure on internet companies to remove extremist material from the web. (ANI)

By Binod Prasad Adhikari

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