Brexit: European Parliament, Council reach agreement on visa-free travel

The European Council and the European Parliament have agreed that, following Brexit, UK citizens coming to the Schengen area for a short stay (90 days in any 180 days) should be granted visa free travel, the European Council said on April 3.

The agreement was confirmed on April 2 by EU ambassadors on behalf of the Council and by the European Parliament’s civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee on April 3.

The text now needs to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.

According to EU rules, visa exemption is granted on condition of reciprocity.

The statement said that government of the United Kingdom has said that it does not intend to require a visa from EU citizens travelling to the UK for short stays.

In the event that the UK introduces a visa requirement for nationals of at least one member state in the future, the existing reciprocity mechanism would apply and the three EU institutions and the member states would undertake to act without delay in applying the mechanism.

The Commission would monitor the respect of the principle of reciprocity on a continuous basis and immediately inform the European Parliament and the Council of any developments which could endanger the respect of this principle.

Visa policy towards third country – meaning, non-EU – citizens travelling to the Schengen area for a short stay is regulated under EU legislation.

Existing rules include all third country nationals in one of two lists: nationals of third countries required to be in possession of a visa and those exempt from this requirement.

Following Brexit, as a third country the UK will need to appear in one of these two lists.

(Photo: Phillip Bramble/



The Sofia Globe staff

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