Leading Brexit campaigner raises potential visa problems

Dominic Raab MP on right of picture.

DESPITE the fact that he is vehemently in favour of Britain leaving Europe, Under Secretary for Human Rights, Dominic Raab MP, himself the son of a Czech refugee has helped to muddy the waters by saying that in the event of a Brexit vote it is likely that Britons would need to obtain visas to travel to France, Germany and other EU members.

Whilst this may be a chore for British travellers, he seems to believe that there would be a significant strengthening of security at British borders where foreign passport holders would be required to supply their personal information prior to entry to the UK.

Regardless of whether Britain stays or leaves, there is no obvious reason why it shouldn’t follow the example of Spain which although a member of Schengen, demands that anyone travelling to Spain from the UK supplies basic information to the airline with which it is travelling. If this was applied to incomers to the UK and if those departing had to go through a proper immigration check then security would be automatically upgraded.

Mr Raab referred to free movement within the EU in an interview on the BBC Politics Show, but seemed to overlook the fact that every person entering the UK regardless of whether they are EU passport holders is subject to a check by either an immigration officer or a machine. 

His argument was that it is very difficult to deny entry to an EU citizen unless they present a serious and credible threat but did not comment on the fact that many of the terrorists who have been caught across Europe are home-grown, and therefore their movements are almost irrelevant or have come from non-EU countries and their passports and stories would be checked upon arrival in the UK.

Perhaps it would also be appropriate to ensure that only non-Muslim immigration officers are allowed to check Muslim visitors to the UK in case of possible partiality, although that may well put an unacceptable additional burden upon the immigration service.

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    • PM

      27 April 2016 • 09:45

      There is a huge difference between “Showing your passport” and having to obtain a Visa. Why do people get this confused.

    • VG

      27 April 2016 • 15:57

      You say that “every person entering the UK regardless of whether they are EU passport holders is subject to a check by either an immigration officer or a machine”, but to obtain a VISA is much more than a 20s check at the airport. The USA is much more rigid and if you need to get a VISA you need to go to a consulate, be interviewed, present supporting documents, etc. Very, very different!

    • peter fieldman

      28 April 2016 • 05:32

      Many western countries in the world with reciprocal agreements require passports only without visas. I do not believe anyone will need visas to visit European countries. Working in another country is different and it might be necessary to reintroduce work permits. We need visas to visit the USA, Russia, China and even India. It has become a rip off and is really a tax on tourists as it raises a lot of money for the countries.

    • kay peukert

      28 April 2016 • 09:14

      my son lives in florida and I used to go over for a month at the end of november – he would get the ticket for me and then when a visa became neccessary he would fill in the form and NO PROBLEM.
      Last time I had to download the ticket – nothing about a visa till I got to Alicante – I was refused permission to board till I got a visa and had to do the form on a machine which was placed too high for me to do it.
      The man kindly did it for me and held up the plane as i would have missed the flight to Madrid.
      There was another problem as i had two suitcases
      I always did this as 2 half full easier to carry.
      Anyway got there – he let me take the 2- when i came back was not allowed 2 cases had to pay 50$ for 2nd case then it was heavy another 60$ for weight – that was 2010 – I haven’t been since.
      the trip was to see my son and buy a load of stuff that was cheaper there and that year made a mockery out of it.
      Plus the nine hour flight like sardines in a can and I can’t do all the walkways now.


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