EU-UK Post-Brexit Visa Dealings: Reciprocal ‘Yes’ to Visa-Free Travel

Written by | Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

The European Union would like to grant UK nationals visa-free travel after Brexit if they travel for pleasure on a short trip. The European Council said it would start talks with the European Parliament to pass the necessary legislation. It would apply to British citizens for a period of 90-180 days traveling to any of the 26 Schengen countries. The EU, however, emphasizes that the “visa exemption is granted on condition of reciprocity.”

London previously said that it did not plan to require a visa from EU nationals traveling to the United Kingdom for short-term stays following Brexit. However, if it is not the case anymore, the EU would “commit to act without delay” to impose reciprocal visa requirements. The European Commission, however, also confirmed that starting in 2021, British nationals will have to pay 7 euro for the European Travel Information of Authorization Scheme (ETIAS), which can be bought online in advance. ETIAS was inspired by the United States’ Electronic System of Travel Authorization (ESTA).

Future travel arrangements between the UK and the EU depend on the final outcome of the Brexit talks. The UK is bound to leave the EU on 29 March but there is no clear agreement for how Britain will leave the bloc since no Brexit plan has the support of both Parliament and EU member states. London and Brussels are readying for the final confrontation after British Prime Minister Theresa May bowed to pressure from UK lawmakers who demanded that she negotiates a new divorce deal with the EU. In a U-turn policy change, Theresa May agreed to go back to Brussels and reopen Brexit negotiations even though she said before that the idea was absurd while Brussels repeatedly claimed that the deal was locked down.

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