Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has requested the UK Government to relax post-Brexit visa regulations, which he claims are blocking European Union nationals from visiting the capital for a variety of reasons, including education, job, and tourism.
According to a UK Government assessment, before to the Brexit transition phase, over 1.5 million children entered Britain each year to pursue their studies or on arranged school visits.
According to the research, Britain accepted 750,000 children from France and Germany alone at the time, who could enter the nation simply by showing their European Economic Area identity cards.
However, beginning in October 2021, all children planning to visit Britain must have a passport, and those with non-EU passports, including refugees, must pay a £95 visa fee.
This summer, the Mayor of London, in collaboration with London & Partners, will launch a new tourism campaign to attract visitors from France and Germany.
Khan believes that encouraging more young Europeans to visit London is critical for both the tourism industry and the rich cultural exchange of ideas and experiences.
Furthermore, the Mayor urged the government to establish a Youth Group Travel Scheme, the primary goal of which would be to make Britain more accessible to a greater number of schoolchildren from around the world.
The Mayor of London has also stated that the Youth Mobility Scheme should be extended in a reciprocal agreement with European Union countries, which would also support several supports, including the hospitality and catering sectors, which are experiencing significant labour shortages.
"Our post-Brexit future does not have to mean isolation from our European friends and partners, as well as restrictive policies that only harm our economy and growth opportunities," Khan said.
Richard Toomer, Executive Director of the Tourism Alliance, praised the Mayor of London's remarks.
"The tourism industry warmly welcomes the mayor's commitment to encouraging youth travel to and from our nation's capital," added Toomer.
He stated that the United Kingdom has plenty to offer visitors from other countries, emphasising that the country should encourage tourists to visit this region rather than erecting unneeded hurdles.
According to Toomer, the decision to accept ID cards at the border has had no substantial impact on the number of foreign visitors visiting the UK, particularly on scheduled school excursions. He emphasised that the number of students sent to the UK by operators in Europe decreased by 83% in just one year.
By fLEXI tEAM