The European Union has set a date in 2024 from which British passport holders without a right of residence in Europe will need to provide facial scans and fingerprints in order to be allowed access.
The important move for Europe as it attempts to take realistic and effective control of its borders, except in the case of illegal migration from North Africa to parts of Spain and across the Mediterranean mainly to Italy, will come into effect on October 6.
The choice of this date appears to have been made in the context of the Paris Olympics, due to take place in July 2024, and the autumn slowdown in ‘getaway’ holidays from the UK.
Disruption, delays and dismay seem certain, with major bottlenecks at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Kent and the Port of Dover. It has been estimated that the average time needed to process a family of five will be at least 10 minutes, while at present the time needed for French border officials to check passports with a visual inspection is between 45 and 90 seconds.
UK visitors to Europe are allowed to stay for 90 days out of 180.
FILE PHOTO: Queues at Dover Reuters
There is expected to be a wave of public outrage in the UK at this unintended consequence of Brexit.