Britons have been awarded the right to travel to the European Union without a visa after Brexit. This is the latest travel advice. The European Parliament voted for visa-free travel for UK citizens today in the event of a no-deal – provided EU nationals received the same treatment in the UK. Thanks to the new law, Britons will be able to stay in the EU visa-free for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. The ruling will come into effect once EU states have given it the final sign-off.
According to a statement released by the European Parliament: “The legislation will apply from the day following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.”
British tourists will become “third country nationals” when Brexit goes ahead – similar to citizens from Australia, Japan and the US.
“The United Kingdom will be included in the list of more than 60 third-countries and territories whose nationals do not need to request a visa to enter the EU for business, tourism or to visit relatives or friends.
“The visa exemption does not provide for the right to work in the EU.”
The law – which was approved by Parliament yesterday – was delayed over the legislation’s description of Gibraltar as a “colony of the British Crown” in a footnote.
This was branded as “completely inappropriate” by the UK, with Labour’s Claude Moraes criticising the description and calling it “opportunistic” and “unnecessary.”
Sergei Stanishev, rapporteur for the proposal, said: “This is an important step for guaranteeing visa-free travel between EU and UK after Brexit, especially in case of no deal.
“It is no secret that the negotiations were blocked over Council’s persistence on the Gibraltar footnote, a matter unrelated to the essence of the report.
“This irresponsible approach seriously undermines the spirit of sincere cooperation between the EU institutions.
“In the end it was Parliament who demonstrated responsibility in order to avoid chaos, caused by the introduction of a visa regime, for British and European citizens.”
The new law warns, however, that if the UK introduces a visa requirement for any EU member state then “this may lead to visa requirements for UK nationals being reintroduced.”
Alana Gomez, spokeswoman for flight comparison site www.jetcost.co.uk, added: “There has been a lot of uncertainty throughout this whole process about whether Britons will need to pay when travelling to Europe and today’s news will be music to many people’s ears.
“Everyone should have a right to travel, and Britons shouldn’t have to pay an extra charge to visit their neighbours over the channel, especially when so many have friends, family and other acquaintances living in Europe.
“Whilst the proposed plan will only cover short-stay, the news is a positive update on what was a worrying outlook for those wishing to travel in Europe post-Brexit.”
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office have warned that Britons holidaying in Greece should be aware of longer airport waiting times at passport control.
The delays come as Hellenic Police begin carrying out passport control checks for all European citizens travelling to and from destinations outside the Schengen area. The Schengen zone covers 26 European states, including popular destinations such as Greece, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – but not the UK.
The FCO stated on their website: “As of 7 April 2019, the Hellenic Police will begin implementing systematic passport control checks for all European citizens travelling to/from destinations outside the Schengen area (including the UK) in line with a 2017 Schengen Borders Code regulation.
“Increased waiting times at passport control are possible on departure from and arrival into Greece. You should ensure you arrive at the airport in good time.”