British travellers could face the prospect of needing a £52 visa to enter the EU under draft proposals presented to MEPs as part of the European Commission’s Brexit planning.
The Times reports today that a commission document proposes changes to the EU’s visa policy for third countries — nations not in the EU — to “place the UK on either the visa-required list of third countries or the ‘visa-free’ list”.
Martin Selmayr, the most senior civil servant in the European Commission, told MEPs last week that the EU would have to decide whether UK citizens would need visas after Brexit.
A Schengen visa for a short stay of less than 90 days costs £52.
Officials in Brussels said it was unlikely that the EU would require Britons to apply for visas, given the desire for close relations after Brexit.
But even if they are not required to have visas, Britons are likely to have to pay a €7 travel authorisation fee announced by Brussels in April.
The proposal emerged as the Home Office outlined how millions of EU citizens who wish to stay in the UK after Brexit would pay £65 for “settled status”, with decisions on applications promised within a “matter of days”.
The Home Office is to test an online scheme to process applications from EU citizens for settled status this summer. Ministers promise that it will be fully operational by March, when the UK leaves the EU.
Meanwhile, it emerged that a number of Europeans would reconsider visiting the UK if Brexit resulted in a situation where a visa and longer security measures were imposed at the border.
The Spanish (56%) and Portuguese (54%) show the strongest preference to reconsider but also the French (47%), Germans (45%) and Italians (45%) show concern.
Conversely only 34% of British nationals would reconsider visiting Europe, according to the latest IPSOS holiday barometer focusing on ten European countries.
Europeans, Americans and Asians all highlighted New York, Paris and London as their dream holiday destinations for this summer’s holidays.
The UK’s most popular cities to visit are New York, Rome and Sydney.
The study found that fewer people plan domestic holidays this year, down 5% to 26% over 2017. Britons also have a 23% increase in budget to holidays to £1,955.
While Spain remains the preferred foreign destination for 18% of people, this is down three percentage points on last year with France up two points to 11% and Italy up two points to 10%.
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