Thank you for contacting me about travelling to the EU in the future.
Free movement is ending and the UK and EU are seeking to agree mobility arrangements for short-term visits in the future. This includes setting provisions on tourism, temporary entry for research, study and training purposes as well as for youth exchanges. The scope of these arrangements is a matter for the negotiations.
The EU has already legislated to ensure that UK nationals do not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in every 180-day period after the end of the transition period. As you may know, this is in line with the EU Schengen Border Code for third-country nationals which includes UK citizens.
I appreciate that you have concerns about second home ownership and/or sailing to the EU and some constituents have raised the issue of increasing the length of stay without a visa with me. I understand that visits of a longer duration will be for individual EU member states to decide and implement through their own domestic laws.
The future of reciprocal healthcare arrangements, such as the EHIC, are a matter for the negotiations. The UK for its part has been clear that it is open to working with the EU to establish healthcare cover for tourists and other short-term visitors.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is part of a new centralised IT system that the EU is developing to help manage its external borders. It pre-dates the UK’s exit from the EU. It is intended to gather information on all non-EU citizens travelling to the EU visa-free before their trip.
This means that non-EU nationals will be required to apply for authorisation before they travel visa-free to the bloc. The ESTA and the eTA, introduced by the United States and Canada, provide similar systems for non-citizens travelling visa-free to their countries.
The negotiations on the future relationship are ongoing and as I am sure you can appreciate, I am not in a position to provide further detail at the moment.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP