Brussels has approved legal changes to ensure UK passport holders can make visa-free visits to the EU for short stays after Brexit – even in the event of a no-deal exit.
The European Commission announced in November that if the UK left the EU without a deal, UK citizens would still be able to travel to the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period, without needing a visa.
Thursday’s vote of the full European Parliament is the last stage in approving the necessary legislation.
Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “Today’s vote provides absolute certainty that UK holidaymakers and business travellers will be able to travel visa-free to Europe, deal or no deal.
“It follows on from the confirmation a few weeks ago that flights will continue to operate, even in a no deal. This means that two of the most important concerns for UK tourists and business travellers visiting the EU have been addressed and will provide a further boost to confidence about travel to the EU after Brexit.
“While it is encouraging that these issues have been addressed, securing a deal is very much the preferred outcome, and we encourage parliamentarians to explore all options to avoid a no-deal.
“With the ongoing uncertainty about how and when the UK will leave the EU, it is difficult for travel businesses to predict what will happen, so it is important members continue to plan and prepare for any eventuality.”
ABTA has updated its Brexit contingency planning guidance for members to reflect the latest developments. The document is available in Abta’s Member Zone.
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