Migration and Home Affairs

Brexit preparedness: European Commission proposes visa-free travel to the EU for UK nationals in a no deal scenario – if the UK also grants reciprocal visa-free travel to all EU citizens

Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

The European Commission has today proposed to grant UK citizens visa-free travel to the EU after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.

It would mean that UK citizens would not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. In the scenario where the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this would apply as of 30 March 2019. If a deal is reached, however, it would apply as of the end of the transition period, as outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement. This follows the Commission's continued commitment that citizens' rights must come first in the negotiations on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

This proposal is entirely conditional upon the UK also granting reciprocal and non-discriminatory visa-free travel for all EU Member States, in line with the principle of visa reciprocity. The UK government has declared its intention not to require a visa from citizens of the EU27 Member States for shorts stays for the purposes of tourism and business. EU rules on non-EU nationals travelling to the EU, such as those on border control, would of course apply to UK citizens once they are no longer EU citizens.

 Today's proposal is one of the preparedness measures needed as a consequence of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. It is separate to the ongoing negotiations on the UK's orderly withdrawal.

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