By Joe Gerrard • 21 February 2019 • 16:30
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BRITISH travellers may face charges of almost €60 to travel to the EU after Spain vetoed plans to keep visiting free due to London and Madrid’s long-running dispute over Gibraltar.
Spanish officials blocked visa-free plans for British travellers at EU talks in Brussels yesterday (Wednesday).
It comes after a row began when Spain attempted to have Gibraltar referred to as a “colony” in EU documents.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez previously said the country’s moves the British territory were to ensure Madrid’s approval would always be needed on future Gibraltar arrangements.
Czech MEP Petr Jezek said Spain was playing with fire and that its actions were leading to Brexit talks with Britain becoming “stuck”.
“If there is no agreement and no visa exemption for Britain, the British government may adopt a similar approach. That would be a disaster,” Jezek said.
Draft EU visa rules would allow British travellers to enter the EU without visas from Brexit day on Friday March 29 until 2021 if passed. British citizens would be required to pay a €8 fee for three years of visa-free travel after 2021 under the plans.
That would be the case even if Britain fails to approve the Withdrawal Agreement hammered out between London and Brussels last year.
The European Parliament previously rejected Spain’s proposal to include the reference to Gibraltar as a colony in a footnote on future visa legislation.
MEPs have instead suggested that it could be changed to acknowledge there is a dispute between Madrid and London over The Rock’s sovereignty.
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