All airports in the UK could begin charging a fee of at least £5 from passengers to skip lengthy queues at passport control.

The new scheme, which has drawn criticism from unions, will be rolled out by the government if a similar scheme at Edinburgh Airport is successful.

The new fee is in addition to some time-saving charges, such as priority boarding and check-in, reported The Independent.

"There are simply not enough staff. Our members are working hours on end under oppressive, often hostile conditions."

According to unions, this scheme will add pressure on exisiting airport staff.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCSU) called this scheme a “gimmick”. 

A PCSU spokesman told the Sunday People: “This is a ridiculous idea that exposes just how understaffed our borders are. What happens if everyone opts to pay £5? We’re back to square one.

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“Instead of gimmicks like this the government needs to properly invest in staff to work at ports and airports because the shortages are there for all to see.”

Border and customs staff union ISU leader Mark Gibbin was quoted by The Independent as saying: "There are simply not enough staff. Our members are working hours on end under oppressive, often hostile conditions.

“Managers are under severe pressure to contain queues, creating still more pressure for frontline staff. It’s only a matter of time before serious public disorder and, who knows, even mass breach of the border.”