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Amber Rudd Says Brexit Negotiations Could Mean New 'Holiday Tax' For British Holidaymakers

Amber Rudd said the UK could retaliate with a similar system though.

12/09/2016 09:20

The home secretary has warned that British holidaymakers could face a “holiday tax” to travel to the European Union as part of a trade-off for leaving the union.

Amber Rudd said she could not “rule out” a scheme which would see those from non-EU countries pay for visas to enter Europe.

It is thought the system would be similar to the US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), which requires some travellers to apply online and pay $14 (£10.50) person.

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Amber Rudd said she could not rule out a visa system which would see non-EU members pay to enter Europe

There has been speculation that such a scheme would add £50 to the cost of an average family holiday for Britons.

However, Rudd said that the UK could create a similar system in return.

According to ITV, she told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr show: “It’s a reminder that this is a two-way negotiation.

“The EU and the Commissioners may be considering alternatives - they will be considering their negotiations with us, just as we are considering it with them.”

She said that she though British people would be “surprised” at such measures.

“I don’t think it’s particularly desirable, but we don’t rule it out because we have to be allowed a free hand to give the best negotiation,” she added.

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UK nationals are able to travel freely in Europe with a valid passport

The potential charge was labelled a “holiday tax” by Labour.

According to the Independent, shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said: “Tory ministers might think nothing of that, but it would make it even harder for ordinary families to afford a holiday.”

While they enjoy their current status as EU citizens (although not Schengen members), UK nationals are able to travel freely in Europe after showing a valid passport to enter the zone.

The Guardian reported last week that both France and Germany favour introducing an ESTA-style system.

It added that the European Commission is set to unveil draft legislation for the EU travel information and authorisation system (Etias) later this year in response to increased security threats.

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