British holidaymakers need not fear the faff of applying for a holiday visa when travelling to Europe post-Brexit, even in the case of a no deal. Those veturing to Europe after the UK has separated from the European Union will be able to do so with just their passports. The decision was made by the European Parliament committee today. It comes amid huge confusion over the ongoing impact of Brexit – which has not yet been finalised – on travel.
The decision came amid huge controversy within the European Parliament over the way the draft legislation hailed Gibraltar a “colony”, which had been a huge sticking point in the entire legislation.
Parliamentary rapporteur, Bulgarian EU lawmaker Sergei Stanishev, told the body of the immediacy of the decision ahead of April 12 – the UK’s scheduled date to leave the EU in a no deal scenario.
He said: “The 12th of April is coming and the faith of millions of UK citizens and EU citizens and their right to travel is in our hands,” he said when asking the committee to back the proposal.”
Yet the visa free travel is not, as yet, a dead cert.
The decision must still be approved by a plenary session of the EU parliament on Thursday to become EU law.
It would give Britons visa-free travel to the EU even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, on condition that Britain offers the same terms to EU citizens visiting for up to 90 days.
The EU has previously stated it will allow UK citizens visa fee travel after Brexit, if they are taking a short trip.
It would apply for a period pf 90-180 days for those travelling to any of the 26 Schengen countries.
These are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Yet the European Commission confirmed that as of 2021, UK visitors to the EU will then have to pay €7 for the European Travel Information and Authorization Scheme (ETIAS).
This will last for three years and is similar to the current ESTA scheme that tourists use to travel to the United States.
Meanwhile, budget airline easyJet yesterday shrugged off suggestions the Brexit chaos would affect its flight routes.
Prime Minister Theresa May will now ask the EU for an extension to the April 12 leave date, as well as work with leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn, in an attempt to find the best EU divorce deal.
In the midst of the drama, easyJet’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, instead the bright orange branded airline remained strong in the face of any botched discussions.
He said the firm had performed in line with expectations, and added: “We have flown around 42 million customers with a significantly reduced number of cancellations and continued high levels of customer satisfaction.
“We are operationally well-prepared for Brexit. Now that the EU Parliament has passed its air connectivity legislation and together with the UK’s confirmation that it will reciprocate, means that whatever happens, we’ll be flying as usual.”