Brexit: Britons 'won't need visas for EU visits'

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Britons will not need visas for short stays in the EU even if there is no Brexit deal, the European Commission has said.

Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said there would be an exemption to visa rules - as long as the UK did the same for EU nationals.

It would apply to trips of up to 90 days within any 180-day period.

The UK is due to leave the EU in March and negotiations are taking place between the two sides.

The UK already grants visa-free travel to nationals from 56 countries - ranging from the United States to the Maldives - allowing people to stay for a maximum of six months. But they are not allowed to work, study or settle.

'Regain control'

Mr Timmermans told a press conference in Strasbourg: "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."

The measure would need to be approved by the European Parliament and EU member states to take effect.

The EU Commission said that if no deal was reached, this arrangement would start from 30 March, and if a deal was agreed, it would begin from the end of any transition period, which is currently scheduled to be at the end of 2020.

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised the UK will "regain control of its borders" after leaving the EU and that the free movement rules that allow people to move between member states to live and work will no longer apply.

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