PROJECT FEAR: Visa Scare Debunked By EU Commission
UK Nationals will not need visas for short stays in the EU, even in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, the European Commission’s Vice President, Frans Timmermans, has said.
Addressing a press conference in Strasbourg, Timmermans said: “We propose to amend the visa regulation to allow UK nationals to be exempt from any visa requirement for short stays in the EU once EU law stops applying to the UK” adding, “‘But of course an important point: this is entirely conditional on the UK also doing the same thing for EU nationals, reciprocating.”
As it happens, the UK government has already declared its intention not to require a visa from citizens of the EU27 Member States for shorts stays for the purposes of tourism and business.
The EU Commission has said that if no deal was reached, this arrangement would start from 30 March.
Responding to the news, Dr Julia Reid MEP said: “Let’s be honest here, British holidaymakers were never going to have to fork out for a visa to travel to EU countries post-Brexit – at least, the chances of that happening were always remote”.
“European countries are incredibly reliant on British tourism. In fact, in 2016, British tourists were worth £12billion to Spain alone, accounting for over a quarter of Spain’s entire tourism expenditure for that year. And on the whole, it is estimated that tourism from the UK is worth £33billion to the remaining 27 EU states.
“Therefore, by introducing visa requirements for British nationals, they would have risked billions of pounds as a consequence. I very much doubt that would have been in their best interests.
“At the end of the day, this whole visa narrative has proven to be nothing more than a scare tactic that was used to sell a few hundred papers and bolster project fear, or as they now like to call it, the ‘People’s Vote’.
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