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Tourism: Trade Competitiveness

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL13876, tabled on 19 February 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the UK will remain competitive in the tourism sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Answered on

4 March 2019

We are working with the tourism and hospitality sector to ensure it remains globally competitive.

Whether the UK leaves with a deal or not, the UK and the EU have proposed reciprocal visa-free travel arrangements to enable UK and EU citizens to continue to travel freely for tourism in the future. The Government has also confirmed that EU nationals can continue to travel on a national ID card until December 2020 and use e-gates when travelling on a passport. The Home Office has also announced that the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and South Korea will be added to the list of countries whose nationals will be eligible to use ePassport gates to enter the UK from Summer 2019.

For those visitors who need a visa, the UK Visas and Immigration service (UKVI) aims to deliver a world-class customer experience that is competitive, flexible and accessible. UKVI have a number of projects underway that will deliver significant customer service improvements this year.

In terms of access to labour, the Government has confirmed that in a no deal scenario EU nationals can work or study in the UK for up to three months and those who wish to stay longer will need to apply to the Home Office for leave to remain within three months of arrival. Subject to identity, criminality and security checks, leave to remain will be granted for 36 months which will include permission to work and study. Those who wish to stay longer-term will need to apply in due course under the future immigration system. We will continue to engage with the tourism sector through the Tourism Industry Council on the proposed future immigration system from 2021.

The proposed tourism sector deal, which is in formal negotiations, has a strong focus on competitiveness through boosting connectivity (both transport connections and digital connectivity) and working with destinations to build quality tourism products that meet visitors needs and expectations. A key focus is also making the sector more attractive to UK nationals through investment in skills, career development and retention policies.