11:23 GMT13 April 2021
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The plenary session of the European Parliament approved on 4 April a bill that will allow UK citizens to travel to the European Union without a visa for short periods of time after Brexit, provided that EU citizens enjoy the same benefits when visiting the United Kingdom.

    "The EU will grant the visa waiver to UK citizens unilaterally, but on the basis of reciprocity, i.e. provided that EU nationals are also given visa-free access for short business or tourist trips to the UK when it becomes a non-EU country", the European Parliament said in a press release, published on the body's official website.

    The legislation will come into effect on the day when the United Kingdom leaves the bloc. The UK nationals will be allowed to stay in the European Union without a visa for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.

    The European Parliament warned, however, that if London obliged any of the EU member states nationals to get a visa to visit the kingdom, "the reciprocity mechanism foreseen in EU legislation should apply," meaning that UK citizens may be required to obtain visas when travelling to the continent as well.

    READ MORE: European Commission Vice President Says No-Deal Brexit is 'Highly Likely'

    The visa-free regime will not give UK citizens the right to work in the EU countries, the press release specified.

    "The visa waiver will be applicable in all EU member states (except Ireland, which has its own visa policy) and in the Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). Ireland and the UK have a specific bilateral arrangement which provides for visa-free travel between the two countries", the European Parliament added.

    The draft law now has to be adopted by the Council of Ministers and published before April 12, when the United Kingdom can potentially crash out of the bloc without a deal if the country's parliament fails to reach a compromise on the future of Brexit.


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    visa, visa-free regime, Brexit, European Union, United Kingdom
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