UK Parliament Committee Warns of 14-Hour Delays at Border With EU Following EES Implementation

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The United Kingdom Parliamentโ€™s European Scrutiny Committee has warned in a hearing held today, on January 25, that once the European Union starts operating its Entry/Exit Systemtravellers at the borders between the EU and UK will have to wait up to 14 hours.

Throughout the hearing, written evidence has been presented by several parties, including here the Ashford Borough Council, UKinbound travel trade association, Tourism Alliance, Eurostar, and Airlines UK, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Overall, the number one worry for all those whose evidence was presented, is the possible excessive waits, which may then affect the economy for local citizens near the borders, businesses, and travel.

The Ashford Borough Council, in particular, fears that in a โ€œreasonable worst caseโ€ scenario, travellers would be forced to wait up to 14 hours at the Port of Dover, if the scheme is implemented in October 2024, as currently planned.

Queues for tourists have been quoted as a reasonable worst case of up to 14 hours. Such queues will create welfare concerns for passengers as well as having a significant effect on the local communities, specifically the towns of Dover, Folkestone and Ashford.

Written evidence submitted by Ashford Borough Council

The high-speed train operator connecting London to Continental Europe, Eurostar, on the other hand, claims that the EES is a system designed for airports rather than for city-centre and space-constrained terminals.

While the same asserts that ending passport stamping will be a major step forward, it still asserts that travel experience will become more complex for non-EU nationals or residents.

EES will represent a challenge for daily operations at London St Pancras International. This will not just be the case during the first few months when high volumes of first-entry passengers are expected to register into EES.

Written evidence submitted by Eurostar Group

Whereas Airlines UK, which represents 2Excel, Ascend Airways, AirTanker, British Airways, DHL, Eastern Airways, easyJet, European Cargo, FedEx, Jet2.com, Loganair, Ryanair, TUI Airways, Titan Airways, UPS, and Virgin Atlantic, asserts that long-term, the system will be beneficial.

They also advise the UK border authorities to take a proactive role in creating awareness about the new system, in order to minimise any potential disruptions.

Following the presentation of the evidences, the Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee, Sir William Cash has agreed that the EES could have serious impact for tourists and travel operators and local businesses alike. Heโ€™s urged the UKe to be aware of what the future has in it for the Port of Dover.

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