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04th Apr 2019

EU parliament votes to give British citizens visa-free travel across the continent post-Brexit

Marc Mayo

Despite leaving the European Union, Brits will not need a visa to visit the region

British citizens will enjoy visa-free travel across the European Union after Brexit following a vote in the EU parliament on Thursday.

The notion was ratified by MEPs on a majority of 502 to 81, although the ease of travel will only be guaranteed if reciprocated by the UK government.

British nationals will be placed under the “third country nationals” bracket of travellers entitled to 90 days worth of entry into EU countries in 180-day periods, similar to citizens from 60 other countries including Japan and the United States.

With the government’s post-Brexit immigration model yet to be completed, plans to restrict any of the EU member state nations travelling in and out of the country could jeopardise this agreement, with a no deal Brexit also potentially heralding higher barriers between the two zones.

“This is an important step for guaranteeing visa-free travel between EU and UK after Brexit, especially in case of no deal,” said Sergei Stanishev, one of the MEPs behind the bill.

Plans to offer the concession to the UK were subject to a controversial row over the status of Gibraltar, and Spanish officials were pleased with the EU’s decision to deem the peninsula a “colony of the British crown” – a position the British government had previously called “inappropriate”.

A Spanish government spokesperson was quoted by Reuters as saying: “[This is] the first time that the European Parliament and the member states have recognised that Gibraltar is a colony.

They added that this was: “A great step forward for the position and claims made by Spain.”