The risk of travellers being refused entry to EU countries following a no-deal Brexit unless they have six months validity on their passport is “appalling”, the Scottish Government has said.
Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell said negotiations should be extended if needed to avoid crashing out of the EU without a transition period.
He raised fears following the publication of the latest batch of technical notices from the UK Government, outlining preparations for leaving the EU without withdrawal agreement, which they continue to stress is “unlikely”.
They reveal that UK citizens with passports valid for less than six months would likely be refused entry to EU countries as they would be treated as third-country nationals in line with visitors from the US, Canada and Australia.
Mr Russell also raised concerns about driving licences.
The technical notices state that in the event of a no-deal Brexit: “Your driving licence may no longer be valid by itself when driving in the EU.
“If you move to another EU country to live, you may not be able to exchange your licence after the UK has left the EU.”
Mr Russell said: “Although the Scottish Government is doing everything within its power to protect Scotland as best we can, these technical notices make plain the crippling costs and needless red tape that a ‘no-deal’ scenario will bring.
“The fact that we are now seriously having to contemplate the possibility of Scottish and other UK travellers – including hardworking families looking forward to a relaxing holiday and business travellers being turned away at the border of EU countries is appalling.”
He repeated calls for the UK to remain part of the single market and customs union, adding: “A ‘no-deal’ Brexit should be unthinkable, which is why it should be ruled out, if necessary by extending the Article 50 process.”