Home WORLD Despite the new crown virus, the UK refuses entry to EU citizens at a higher rate | Brexit News

Despite the new crown virus, the UK refuses entry to EU citizens at a higher rate | Brexit News



Despite the overall reduction in travel due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK has refused entry to EU citizens this year at a much higher rate.

Government data from the Home Office on Thursday showed that from the beginning of January to the end of March, 3,294 EU citizens were prevented from entering the country by British border officials-a figure that was nearly 570% higher than the number of 493 denied entry in the same period last year. .

As the United Kingdom and the European Union adapt to the post-Brexit relationship, despite the dramatic changes in the travel and tourism industry due to the COVID crisis, the United Kingdom has fallen into a national lockdown and implemented a strict quarantine system.

According to data compiled by the British Civil Aviation Authority, in the first three months of 2021, passenger traffic from the European Union to UK airports fell by 94% compared to a year ago.

Data show that British border officials shut out most EU citizens at the European ferry port or the Eurostar railway terminal in Paris.

Despite this, nearly 750 people were deported after arriving at British airports or ports.

According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, more than two-thirds (2,118) of all people turned away are Romanian nationals.

Compared with the same period in 2020, the number of Romanians denied entry in the first three months of this year has increased by 867%.

Bulgarian nationals also seem to have been disproportionately affected by denial of the increase. In the first quarter of 2021, 300 people were rejected, compared with 19 in the same period last year.

As of press time, the Ministry of the Interior has not responded to Al Jazeera’s request for comment.

‘Numbers will rise’

After Brexit, EU citizens seeking to enter the UK for work or study are now required to comply with the new visa requirements.

The freedom of movement between the two has ended, although British and EU citizens still enjoy reciprocal visa-free travel for entertainment purposes.

Several media reports this month stated that EU citizens were detained at immigration centers in the UK after being refused entry, and some were detained for several days.

The Ministry of the Interior said earlier this month that its goal is to provide immigration bail to those who have been denied entry, not to detain them.

“We have updated our guidelines to clarify that overseas nationals who have been denied entry to the UK and are awaiting deportation, including EU citizens, should be granted immigration bail where appropriate,” a spokesperson for the Home Office told Reuters.

But experts say that with the gradual removal of COVID-19 restrictions in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, as international travel resumes, the number of deportations and detentions may increase in the coming months, at least to a limited capacity.

“These numbers are likely to rise,” Mary Morris, deputy director of the Institute of Public Policy (IPPR), which focuses on immigration and trade policy, told the Guardian. “More people will be turned away.”

Hong Kong visa applications surge

When the data was released on Thursday, a new report showed that the UK received far more visa applications from Hong Kong than from the European Union. New system It is open to residents of the former British colonies, and the rules after Brexit come into effect.

The Oxford University Immigration Observatory stated that 34,000 Hong Kong residents applied to live in the UK in the first three months of this year, while 5,354 applications for any type of visa from the European Union were applied.

The Immigration Observatory said that due to the COVID lockdown and the more expensive and restrictive post-Brexit system, the number of applications from the European Union has decreased.

“Under normal circumstances, we might want to see employers scrambling to formulate what they need to do to recruit EU nationals after free movement ends,” said Madeleine Sampson, director of the observatory.

“But this epidemic means that many employers do not need to use the new immigration system now. Therefore, it may take some time before we can better understand how many EU citizens move to the UK under the new regulations and how their impact will be. .”

EU citizens who have been living in the UK until 2021 can apply for settlement status under a separate scheme.

At the same time, the influx of Hong Kong applications is related to a recently announced initiative by the United Kingdom that allows Hong Kong residents to apply for visas and have the opportunity to become British citizens.

The move was made after Beijing introduced its controversial national security law last year as part of its crackdown on the independence of financial centers.

Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997 and promised to continue to maintain freedom there, including freedom of speech and an independent legal system.

But Beijing has steadily taken action to strengthen its control of this territory.

The British government predicts that its plan—open to holders of British National Overseas (BNO) passports, a special status created before 1997 and held by nearly 3 million Hong Kong residents—may attract more than 300,000 People and their families.


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