The European Parliament today voted in favour of reciprocal visa-free access for EU and UK nationals following Brexit.
The legislation will apply from the day following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. From that date, UK nationals who are British citizens will not be required to get a visa for stays in the EU of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
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.
Although the EU is granting the visa waiver to UK citizens unilaterally, it will be revoked if the UK does not act in reciprocity and introduces visa requirements for nationals of any member state.
S&D MEP Sergei Stanishev, vice-chair of the civil liberties committee and rapporteur on the file, said:
“This is an important step for guaranteeing visa-free travel between EU and UK after Brexit, especially in case of no deal. Even though the Progressives view Brexit as a historic mistake, we have always tried to work responsibly to mitigate the damage caused to people's lives.
"It is no secret that the negotiations were blocked over Council’s persistence on a footnote referring to Gibraltar, not over matters related to the essence of the report. The Council simply ignored all compromise proposals put forward by my colleague and civil liberties committee chair Claude Moraes. I pay tribute to his excellent work in dealing with this difficult file.
“In the end it was Parliament who demonstrated responsibility in order to avoid possible chaos that could have been caused if this legislation had not been in place when the UK leaves the EU."