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Keir Starmer calls on Europe to look again at new passport rules being introduced for EU travel

13 June 2024, 18:11 | Updated: 13 June 2024, 18:15

Keir Starmer has called on the Europe to look again at new passport rules being introduced for EU travel.
Keir Starmer has called on the Europe to look again at new passport rules being introduced for EU travel. Picture: Getty

By Jenny Medlicott

Keir Starmer has told LBC that Labour will do 'anything to make it easier' for Brits to travel to the Europe under new passport rules set to come in.

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Speaking to LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr, the Labour leader called on Europe to look again at the new rules being introduced for passports.

The European Union's Entry/Exit Scheme (EES) will replace the stamping of passports from October 2024, which is intended to streamline entering and leaving the EU for Brits.

Passengers' names, biometric data and the place of entry and exit will be checked as part of the system.

It means Brits visiting Europe will need to submit fingerprints and facial biometrics before they travel.

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Asked if he would try to persuade the EU to look at the rules again, Sir Keir said: “Yes, I think that we should do whatever we can to make it easier for people to travel on holiday, get into the continent and back and part of this is about trust and respect and the way in which we deal with the EU.

“Boris Johnson and Liz Truss did huge damage to our basic relations with our EU partners and nobody going on holiday this summer wants to have a harder time than they need to, so of course we will do anything to make it easier for anybody - whether it’s in Europe or abroad.”

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New rules are set to come in on British passports.
New rules are set to come in on British passports. Picture: Alamy

French officials will carry out the checks at Dover for the Eurotunnel and at St Pancras International for the Eurostar.

There are concerns from some nations over how much longer it will take to process holidaymakers, adding to the queues at EU borders.

The Slovenian government previously said it would take "up to four times longer" while French finance watchdog Cour des Comptes said queues were expected to double.

The Port of Dover said inspections on cars could go from taking just 45 seconds to up to 10 minutes and Eurotunnel warned it could take six minutes longer to process each car as they board trains.

It comes after Sir Keir launched the manifesto for Labour in Manchester on Thursday.

He called the manifesto "a rejection of cynicism", and a "plan for growth" as he vowed to "rebuild our country."

Keir Starmer launched the Labour manifesto on Thursday.
Keir Starmer launched the Labour manifesto on Thursday. Picture: Alamy

Sir Keir said: "If you transform the nature of the jobs market, if you transform the infrastructure that supports investment in our economy, if you reform the planning regime, start to unlock the potential for billions on billions of pounds worth of projects that are ready to go, held up by the blockers of aspiration, then clearly, that does so much more for our long-term growth prospects."

The Labour leader was heckled by a climate protester as he spoke - and responded that Labour "gave up on being a party of protest five years ago in favour of being "a party in power."

Asked by LBC's political editor Natasha Clark if he appreciated a warning by Conservative Defence Secretary Grant Shapps that Labour could win a "super-majority", Sir Keir said: "I don't take anything for granted as we go to the final three weeks of this campaign."Yes, we are enjoying the campaign, I won't deny that," he said.

"We've waited four and a half years, we've worked for four and a half years to get to this point, election year, the chance to do what we came into politics to do which is to change the lives of millions of people for the better with a Labour government."

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