France travel warning over new rules following Brexit

The Eiffel Tower in Paris
-Credit: (Image: Martin Keene/PA Wire)

UK travellers visiting France and other parts of Europe will now face stricter entry rules that are unlikely to run smoothly, French industry bosses have warned.

Transport Minister Patrice Vergriete said the EU Entry/Exit System (EES) could even "disturb the public order", and his concerns have been echoed by UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who fears “big choke points” at Dover and Calais - and “serious delays” as a result.

The EES, which is scheduled to be rolled out in October, will require non-EU passengers to register personal information, including biometric data, at kiosks.

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Mr Vergriete believes that these challenges may cause significant problems at busy ports and airports such as Charles de Gaulle, the Express reports.

He told the French National Federation of Aviation and its Trades (FNAM) conference: “I cannot say that we are not working hard to ensure that we are as operational as possible,' he told the French National Federation of Aviation and its Trades (FNAM) conference.

“I cannot say that collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior is going badly, that would be lying… but I fear problems.”

The scheme has already been postponed until after summer’s Olympic Games in Paris - but Mr Vergriete claimed there was risk of public order being “disturbed” when it was eventually introduced in the autumn, with “serious operational consequences” for airports.

He added: “I’m even going to ask for a further postponement, but it seems difficult to me to get it from the European authorities. We will do our utmost to be on time, and we are all aware that things are not going to run totally smoothly.”

Mr Vergriete stressed that there were “concerns about the number of police personnel and the technology, which could face serious operational problems.”

Eurotunnel has estimated the average time of processing a car at Dover will increase from less than a minute to seven minutes - partly because travellers will be unable to have their passports checked at windows and will instead have to exit vehicles to use e-gates.

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