MP hits out at complex visa applications

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ROTHERHAM MP and former Europe Minister Denis MacShane has accused the Government of making it difficult and unfriendly for foreign visitors, businessmen and students to come to Britain.

He told a House of Commons debate that France is now attracting 50 per cent more visitors than Britain, while Switzerland is getting big surges in visitors from countries like China, India and South Africa which traditionally looked towards the UK.

Mr MacShane claims difficulty obtaining visas is a big issue, with people forced to travel hundreds of miles to get visas which at £78 were much more pricey than the 60 Euros charged by European nations.

He said the UK visa application form is eight pages long requiring endless details and allows access only to the UK and Ireland.

Meanwhile, the application form for a single visa covering entry to 26 European countries is just three pages long.

Mr MacShane said: “The impression given is that Britain would like to be open to business as long as we can stay closed to foreigners.

“It is not a sensible way of earning a crust in the modern world.”