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UK Government 'no deal' approach "irresponsible".
Scottish holidaymakers and business travellers face the possibility of being refused entry to EU countries if travelling on passports valid for less than six months if no deal on Brexit can be reached.
The latest batch of UK Government ‘Technical Notices’ outline preparations for leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement, which would see the UK exit the EU on 29 March 2019 with no transition period in place.
The prospect of Scottish and other UK travellers being turned away at the border of EU nations emerges because, without a transition period in place, UK citizens are likely to be treated in the same way as those from many non-EU countries, meaning that people with passports with less than six months left to run could be denied access.
The technical notices also reveal there is also no guarantee that UK driving licences will be automatically recognised after Brexit, while UK citizens who become resident in EU countries following exit day, may need to sit a new driving test.
Responding to the latest Technical Notices published today, Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell said:
“The high price Scottish consumers and businesses will have to pay for Brexit becomes clearer with every passing day.
“Although the Scottish Government is doing everything within its power to protect Scotland as best we can, these Technical Notices make plain the crippling costs and needless red tape that a ‘no deal’ scenario will bring.
“The fact that we are now seriously having to contemplate the possibility of Scottish and other UK travellers – including hardworking families looking forward to a relaxing holiday and business travellers – being turned away at the border of EU countries is appalling.
“These Technical Notices lay bare the confusion that is likely to result from a ‘no deal’ Brexit, and exposes the irresponsible approach of the UK Government.”
Mr Russell added:
“Time is running out for the UK Government to do the right thing which, short of staying in the EU, is remaining part of the Single Market and Customs Union. That is what will protect our economy, jobs and living standards.
“A ‘no deal’ Brexit should be unthinkable, which is why it should be ruled out, if necessary by extending the Article 50 process.”
Read more about the second package of ‘no deal’ Technical Notices published by the UK Government.