Brexit MPs suggest UK visa charges for EU nationals

A group of Leave-backing Conservative MPs is suggesting that European nationals should be charged £10 for a visa to enter the UK after Brexit.

A report written by Tory MP Craig Mackinlay proposes a system similar to America’s ESTA programme.

Mr Mackinlay’s report is being backed by the Brexit-leaning European Research Group.

It is claimed such an initiative would raise £150m a year, which could be invested in high-tech equipment at UK borders.

It is also suggested the system would help provide quicker and more automated border checks to “minimise travel delays for legitimate travellers”.

Another claimed benefit would be a “wealth of information” to boost security and intelligence.

Craig McKinlay MP

Image: Craig Mackinlay MP has sent his report to ministers

Mr Mackinlay said visitors could be asked to provide an address for their time in the UK, helping authorities to track them down if they over-stayed their visas.

He added that it would enable border officers to “focus on the people who pose the greatest threat”, while cutting delays for others.

The Government is expected to publish an immigration white paper in the New Year. Ministers have been sent the report.

The US charges $14 for an ESTA visa waiver, allowing multiple entries over the next two years. Visitors have to hand over information prior to departure, with pre-approved entry making arrival checks quicker.

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“The EU is investigating implementing its own version of charges on travellers; the USA already does, the UK should reciprocate and in doing so raise £150 million a year to invest in our borders,” the European Research Group said in a foreword to the report.

“A new modern digital border funded by those that use it would save travellers time, help keep the UK open to genuine visitors while giving the UK the information it needs to exclude those that are not.”