UK e-passport access for Australians welcome step
The announcement today from the UK Government that Australians arriving at Heathrow from next year can use the e-passport gates is a welcome step in building a stronger relationship between Australia and the UK in a post-Brexit world according to Liberal Senator Eric Abetz.
Senator Abetz has been a long-time advocate of such a change, having made representations both within Australia and directly to colleagues in Westminster.
“This is an exciting change which will mean Australians travelling to London can be quickly and expeditiously moved through the border without what can be sometimes a 45 minute wait,” Senator Abetz said.
“When I first raised this issue with my then counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 Employment Ministers summit, I was told it was unachievable so-long as the UK was in the European Union. With the unique opportunity of Brexit, I’ve been advocating this change both in Australia and to Westminster.”
“This welcome announcement will help to deepen and strengthen the relationship between Australia and the UK and I am pleased that the Conservative Government in the UK was eager to send such a strong and early signal to its closest friends and allies in this way.”
“This is a real and tangible benefit to Australians visiting the UK of a post-Brexit Britain and I am confident is only the beginning as they depart from the European Union next March.”
“While there are a number of colleagues in the UK who have pushed this issue, I want to pay particular tribute to the former High Commissioner Alexander Downer, Andrew Rosindell MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and Esther McVey MP who were very receptive in my dealings with them on this topic,” Senator Abetz concluded.