The UK government admitted in a report released on Wednesday by the House of Lords, the country’s upper house of parliament, that Brexit has created barriers to business travel. The report, written by the Lords Selection Committee for the European Union, warns that new mobility restrictions will hamper the dominant UK service sector.
“We understand that there are now additional processes when you travel overseas for work, including potentially longer lead times and additional costs associated with getting the required documentation,” said the UK Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Industrial Strategy in a written statement to the committee. “The government is committed to helping individuals and businesses during this time.”
Under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed by the UK and the European Union on December 24, 2020, many types of travel to work between the two now require a visa. In addition, UK passport holders are only allowed to visit the Schengen Area – the EU countries where travel without border controls is allowed – for 90 days out of 180, while EU passport holders can enter the UK for up to six months at a time.
The report found that the TCA’s mobility regulations have not yet been tested due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, making their impact difficult to assess. A representative from the Ministry of the Economy told the committee that “summaries will be made of some of the guidelines issued by various Member States on the visa and work permit arrangements in force”.
The TCA’s “Approved Activities” list [without a visa] Short-term business visitors are limited and would “rule out a lot of activity,” the report said, citing the UK Association of Small Businesses. The committee warned that “barriers to business mobility between the UK and the EU pose a threat to the UK’s competitiveness and innovation as well as to action.”
Services account for 80 percent of the UK’s economic output, including exports to the EU of £ 317 billion which in turn exports of £ 217 billion in services to the UK. In 2019, 4.8 million UK nationals took business trips to the EU, while 5.6 million EU citizens took business trips to the UK.
The committee said it was particularly “deeply concerned about the potential impact of mobility regulations in the TCA on the over two million creative workers that could make travel prohibitively bureaucratic and expensive. We urge the government and the EU to work together.” resolve this situation before international travel resumes. “