A member of Sinn Féin, an Irish socialist republican and democratic political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, has called the UK’s plans to introduce a travel permit requirement for travelers from European Union countries, including Ireland, “impractical” and “unenforceable”. .
Speaking at the assembly on December 13, Monday, Caoimhe Archibald, who has been a member of Sinn Féin and MLA for East Londonderry since 2016, insisted that any attempt to get EU travelers to apply for a travel permit before their trip to the UK would be unreasonable levels of Bureaucracy and legal uncertainty unacceptable to thousands of citizens.”
According to her, such measures would “create a real risk of racial profiling” and as a result would “tighten borders for thousands of other EU citizens,” TheSchengen.com reports.
“The proposal should be scrapped. There is also an onus on the Irish government and the European Union to make it clear to the British government how impractical and fundamentally unacceptable it would be,” Archibald said.
The travel authorization Archibald is referring to has been discussed among senior UK leaders since 2016, after a positive vote by UK citizens to leave the European Union.
On 26 May 2021, TheSchengen.com reported that the UK was officially set to introduce the pre-registration requirement for EU travelers arriving on UK territory.
At the beginning of December, Immigration Minister Kevin Foster presented the plans to Northern Ireland’s House of Commons, stating that every EU traveler would have to obtain an online travel permit through “simple procedures”.
He also told attendees that papers would not be checked at the UK’s border with the Republic of Ireland.
The idea immediately met with a backlash from Ireland, who, like members of Sinn Féin, believe that creating any system is a “hardening of borders”. Both the UK and the EU have tried to avoid the latter since the start of the Brexit negotiations in March 2017.
Stephen Fary, a member of the UK Parliament from Northern Ireland, also rejected the idea, insisting the scheme would create “new bureaucracy” and “legal uncertainty” for thousands of people.
>> UK plans to introduce travel permit requirements for EU citizens wishing to enter Northern Ireland
A requirement similar to the one planned by the British authorities will soon take effect in the European Union. From mid-2022, travelers from third countries who are allowed to enter 26 Schengen area countries without a visa, including British travelers here, will have to apply online for a travel authorization called ETIAS, which stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System.
According to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, about 1.4 billion passengers from more than 60 countries in the world will be subject to ETIAS requirements. Other countries such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand also have similar requirements in place.
>> EU Commission confirms: Britons will need to apply for ETIAS to travel to the EU after Brexit