Britain, Ireland and Schengen: Time for a Smarter Bargain on Visas

Center for European Policy Studies Policy Briefs No. 249

6 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2011

See all articles by Michael Emerson

Michael Emerson

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Date Written: August 2, 2011

Abstract

Given Britain’s desire to maintain its own border controls, it will not join the EU’s passport-free ‘Schengen’ area in the foreseeable future. Ireland also has to stay out because it shares a common travel area with the UK.

But there is now mounting evidence that this situation hurts tourism and businesses in Britain and Ireland. Non-European travellers can move freely between Schengen countries with a single visa, and many skip the further hassle of getting visas to visit Britain or Ireland. Already the Schengen area has an agreement to facilitate Chinese group tourism, which is growing fast, and from which the UK and Ireland are excluded.

This problem could be overcome if Britain, Ireland and the Schengen countries would agree on ‘mutual recognition’ of the visas they issue, without the UK or Ireland having to scrap their border controls.

Keywords: border, visa, border controls, Schengen, passport, passport-free, UK, tourism

Suggested Citation

Emerson, Michael, Britain, Ireland and Schengen: Time for a Smarter Bargain on Visas (August 2, 2011). Center for European Policy Studies Policy Briefs No. 249, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1945744

Michael Emerson (Contact Author)

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) ( email )

1 Place du Congres
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

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