Visa-free travel for EU visitors to UK after Brexit

Britain is reportedly planning to allow visa-free travel to the country for people from the European Union after Brexit.

There has been no official announcement but British media, quoting unnamed government sources, say visitors won’t face any new constraints.

However, people who want to work, study or settle in the UK will need to comply with future migration rules once the country leaves the EU in March 2019.

The UK already grants visa-free travel to nationals from 56 countries – ranging from the United States to the Maldives.

Passports are stamped on entry, and people are allowed to stay for a maximum of six months. But they are not allowed to work, study or settle.

Analysts say it’s hardly surprising that a similar scheme is being considered for nationals of the EU countries after Brexit – not least because future arrangements are likely to be reciprocal.

In other words, if EU citizens needed visas to come to the UK in the future, UK citizens would need visas to travel to the EU. Britons made 35 million holiday trips to the EU last year.

The government is due to unveil its future immigration policy later this year.

A key UK priority is to reduce immigration but British ministers have long said they want companies to be allowed to hire skilled European workers.

Separately, the UK government says it is confident that Brexit negotiations with Brussels are on course to move on to the next phase after October.

It follows reports suggesting the two sides might have to delay talks on future UK-EU ties due to a lack of progress on priority issues.

Toro Abalu-Diehl

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