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Date set for EU’s new travel system that can ban you from Europe for three years



The countdown is on until the European Union brings in new border control technology that’ll significantly alter how Brits can move around the vast majority of Europe with a date now set.

And its a new system can result in you being banned from dozens of European countries.

Since the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU back in 2016 – yes, the dreaded Brexit – those living in Britain have had time to get used to being treated as a non-EU member.

Those quick passport control queues when heading to Spain or France are now a thing of the past, with Brits no longer enjoying the free movement that came with being part of the EU.

We know it’s pretty annoying – especially alongside the need for visas to visit certain countries.

Freedom of movement explained

A new system being introduced across the EU means Brits will face further checks when visiting any of the EU’s 27 countries – we’re talking Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Known as the Schengen Area, citizens of these 27 European countries are given legal freedom of movement between them. The UK was in this until Brexit was rubber-stamped.

Passport control in Spain (Getty Stock Images)

What is The EU Entry/Exit System (EES)?

The EU Entry/Exit System, or EES as you might see it written, is set to be introduced by the EU as it looks to control its broader borders.

The purpose is to control how long people can stay in the EU for in any particular year, with checks set to be done at airports and ports.

The EES will be triggered every time someone who doesn’t have an EU passport arrives and leaves any EU member state.

Passport control (Getty Stock Images)

Passport control (Getty Stock Images)

What will the EU Entry/Exit System (EES) do in reality?

With the EES tracking your physical movement in and out of the EU, it’ll replace the physical stamping of passports.

Instead, you’ll have your biometric data taken. We’re talking fingerprint scans and your face scanned by cameras, with both stored on a large database that will flag those who overstay.

On overstaying your welcome, this is something called the Schengen 90/180-Day Rule.

Not widely known, the rule means that foreign nationals who step foot in any of the Schengen Area’s 27 countries can stay for up to 90 days within any 180 days.

It’s often misunderstood and many people overstay it, which results in them facing unpleasant consequences.

Passport control can be a lengthy wait under current rules (Getty Stock Images)

Passport control can be a lengthy wait under current rules (Getty Stock Images)

What happens if you break EES rules?

The EES is expected to come into force in four months today, on 6 October, having been delayed from its initial 2022 launch.

The Justice and Home Affairs Committee from the UK’s House of Lords has looked in to the potential impact of the system, saying it was ‘alarmed’ at what could happen.

“We are alarmed by the lack of awareness of these changes on the part of UK Citizens who will be impacted by EES… and by the Government’s current inadequate approach to communicate details,” the committee found.

It means that from 6 October, if you break the EES rules on overstaying your welcome in the EU, you face a ban from travelling to any country in the Schengen Area.

This is for either work or leisure reasons, as long as you don’t have a visa to extend your stay – you could even get immediately deported back to the UK.

The EU says: “A non-EU national who stays in the Schengen area beyond 90 days (without a residence permit or long-stay visa) is illegally present, which can result in a re-entry ban to the Schengen area.

“Working in the Schengen area without a work permit is also illegal (even if less than 90 days) and can likewise result in a re-entry ban to the Schengen area. Depending on the Member State administrative penalties may also apply.”

Bans will last for up to three years, with the EU holding your personal data in relation to the ban for that time period.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Europe, Brexit, UK News, Travel, Holiday, Technology

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