Ambassadors from the nations of the EU reached an agreement on Friday allowing British citizens to travel inside the EU without a visa, in case the UK leaves the union without a deal.
This decision allows Britons visa-free short stays of up to 90 days within any 180 day-period.
The decision means that British citizens will be able to travel anywhere inside the EU’s “Schengen Area” without needing to apply for a visa. This would not have been the case if Britain had left the Union without any arrangement at all on this issue.
The Schengen area includes 26 European states which have officially abolished passports and any other types of border control. The UK and Ireland had never belonged to this group of nations, however. The two countries had maintained an ”opt-out” clause which allowed them to implement border controls, despite the EU abolishing them in 1985.
The EU’s decision considered the geographical proximity of the island of Great Britain to the continent of Europe, as well as the massive movement of people every year from the UK to the EU, both for business and leisure.
The decision will have to be ratified by the European Parliament during the next session. This will finally put concerns to rest about disruptions in tourist travel from the UK to EU nations such as Spain, Greece and Cyprus.
It is also now possible that the UK will extend the same courtesy for EU citizens who wish to visit Britain for short periods of time after Brexit takes place.