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The UK government implemented a six-month 'soft launch' following confusion over the EES

Copyright Gareth Fuller/AP/File

 It seems that UK government ministers have recognized the uncertainty surrounding the EES scheme and have implemented a semi-soft launch to address any potential challenges.

The UK government is getting ready for potential disruptions with the upcoming introduction of the EU’s Entry-Exit system (EES). The new EU border scheme, scheduled to start on 6 October, is anticipated to create congestion at the Port of Dover in south east England. In response, Guy Opperman, a minister in the UK’s transport department, has announced plans for a "six-month soft launch" of the scheme to streamline the process.

During a session at the European Scrutiny Committee in the House of Commons, Opperman stated that the proposal will allow for "increased vehicle movement" in the event of queues caused by the EES.

Under the plan, travelers from non-EU nations such as the UK will have their fingerprints scanned upon entering the EU, and a photograph of them will be stored in a database the first time they enter a member state.

Government agencies and representatives in the tourism industry have expressed concerns about potential long queues for ferry traffic traveling from Dover to Calais due to the implementation of the EES.

The Port of Dover has a unique approach to the EES, with French border checks being conducted on UK soil before passengers embark on their cross-Channel journeys.

"We are currently in a six-month soft launch period for the implementation of the EES," stated Opperman.

"In the event of queues or delays, the precautionary flexibility measures provide greater freedom of passage for vehicles, coaches, HGVs, and cars, which will help alleviate many of the queuing issues and complications," he added.

Leaving the UK has become increasingly complex following Brexit, and there are worries that the situation could deteriorate further. (Photo by Matt Dunham/The AP/File)

Rumors have circulated that the EES app, designed to expedite the travel process, may not be prepared in time for the October launch. Home Office minister Tom Pursglove appeared to validate these rumors when he informed the committee that the Government doubts the EU will have finished developing the app before the scheme is implemented.

"We consistently emphasize at both the official and ministerial levels that it is crucial to implement this at the earliest opportunity," he said. "There are significant benefits to processing as much of this upstream as possible. It is my understanding that both the EU and individual member states recognize the value of this approach in addressing challenges. There is a strong commitment to delivering the app-based solution as swiftly as possible."


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