It is as if the EU backroom boys within the European Union have suddenly gone into overdrive. Having sussed out the weakness, backstabbing and disarray of the UK Brexit negotiating team, draft legislation is being spewed out of the EU machine consuming more paper (ie Trees) than the most dangerous of the current crop of Europe mainland wild fires.
The latest deluge uncovered by my good friend Simon Calder, the intrepid travel editor of the Independent, a man who never stops travelling, always pays his own way, and at all other times probably sleeps awake upright, with passport in hand, slung in a hammock hanging from the lighting rig of Breakfast telly studios. How else can he be so well researched, and live on all the very early morning breakfast shows at once?
Simon has stumbled on what is a proposed framework for the UK and other 'third countries' outside of the Schengen Area. If you have ever travelled to the USA on a regular business Visa, then some of the EU questions might not come as a surprise as they include such gems as: 'Why are you travelling?' But what might catch out any budding urban warrior is: 'Where are you staying?' Back of the car or sleeping bag under a hedge wrapped in a football scarf might not in future cut it at EU border control. But the best question and clearly designed to invalidate a majority of travel insurance policies: How is your health?
The enhanced level of new information is an eye opener as this portion of the draft regulations show:
Consultation of the ETIAS Central System shall be limited to searching with the following data recorded in the application file:
(a) surname (family name) and, if available, first name(s) (given names);
(b) other names (alias(es), artistic name(s), usual name(s));
(c) number of the travel document;
(d) home address;
(e) e-mail address;
(ee) or phone number or mobile phone number;
(f) IP address.
3. Consultation of the ETIAS Central System with the data listed under paragraph 2 may be combined with the following data in the application file to narrow down the search:
(a) nationality or nationalities;
(c) date of birth or age range.
I write this on the very day 'petrol head' Jeremy Clarkson is rushed to hospital with pneumonia, temporarily halting filming in dangerously 'Lucifer' hot Spain, of his next behind an Amazon paywall 'The Grand Tour'. His sidekick Richard Hammond having only recently come out of hospital, and as for Captain Slow...well who knows? Still fit and well we hear.
The EU scheme also presupposes you can use technology as it will be online and has to be completed and a fee in euros paid in advance of any trip, over or under THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, by air, Eurostar, car, or ferry. Clearly any sun worshipping villains contemplating the Costa del Sole, may have to think again.
Simply post BREXIT welcome to a whole new world of extra well knotted red tape as only the European bureaucrats know how.
These and other equally mind boggling questions form part of the post-Brexit travel hurdles to be completed even for the simplest of day trips and booze runs awaiting us in the draft legislation.
The Europeans forgetting we bailed them out during two major World Wars and many scuffles since. We are now 'the Johnny Foreigner' of old lumped in with “visa-exempt third country nationals”, which is what British travellers are likely to become after the UK leaves the EU.
Make no mistake as Simon Calder points out "The new regulations will increase the cost and complexity of holidays and business trips to the Schengen Area, which includes 22 EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Red tape for travellers will be more tangled, with UK passport holders forced to pay for an online permit even for a “booze cruise” to Calais, a weekend in Amsterdam or a Northern Lights trip to the Arctic"
Then if you've ever transgressed, Article 15 (4)(b) is lying in wait, the new list of offences is quite extensive, and computer related/ cybercrime is rated high at Number 9 whereas
List of offences referred to in Article 15(4)(b)
0. terrorist offences
1. participation in a criminal organisation,
2. trafficking in human beings,
3. sexual exploitation of children and child pornography,
4. illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances,
5. illicit trafficking in weapons, munitions and explosives,
7. fraud, including that against the financial interests of the Union,
8. laundering of the proceeds of crime and counterfeiting of currency, including the euro,
9. computer-related crime/cybercrime,
10. environmental crime, including illicit trafficking in endangered animal species and in endangered plant species and varieties,
11. facilitation of unauthorised entry and residence,
12. murder, grievous bodily injury,
13. illicit trade in human organs and tissue,
14. kidnapping, illegal restraint and hostage-taking,
15. organised and armed robbery,
16. illicit trafficking in cultural goods, including antiques and works of art,
17. counterfeiting and piracy of products,
18. forgery of administrative documents and trafficking therein,
19. illicit trafficking in hormonal substances and other growth promoters,
20. illicit trafficking in nuclear or radioactive materials,
22. crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,
23. unlawful seizure of aircraft/ships,
25. trafficking in stolen vehicles,
26. industrial espionage,
28. racism and xenophobia.
It makes the much fabled 'No Fly List' a piece of Eurocake by comparison. Happy Holidays!
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476