The European Union council has agreed to allow UK citizens visa-free travel to EU member states, even in the event of the UK leaving the bloc without a deal. The European Parliament are now expected to sign it off.
EU ambassadors in Brussels on Friday gave British citizens the green light to travel within the Schengen area for short days after Brexit without requiring a visa.
The UK government has stated that they will not require EU citizens to obtain a visa to travel to Britain for short-term stays (90 days in any 180 days). EU rules dictate that visa exemption must be based on the condition of reciprocity.
The decision will now be progressed to the European Parliament to pass into legislation. Last month they backed proposals for visa-free travel even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Theresa May’s Tory government has broadly welcomed the news, but have been riled by certain language contained within the EU proposals. A new regulation within the proposed new legislation refers to Gibraltar as “a colony of the British Crown.”
It sparked this response from a UK government spokesperson: “Gibraltar is not a colony and it is completely inappropriate to describe in this way. Gibraltar is a full part of the UK family and has a mature and modern constitutional relationship with the UK.
This will not change due to our exit from the EU. All parties should respect the people of Gibraltar’s democratic wish to be British.”