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Volume 685: debated on Monday 9 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they have made to the Government of the United States about extending to the European Union member states that joined in 2004 the early visa waiver system used for the original 15 members.[HL6966]

The UK is not directly involved in matters of EU visa policy because of our policy of retaining national control over our borders and immigration. However, in our role as president of the EU (June-December 2005), the UK was involved in negotiations with the USA about extending the visa waiver programme to the 10 new member states that joined the EU in May 2004. We continue to support the principle of extending the visa waiver programme to all EU member states.