In Europe’s Interest to Strike a Deal on Free Travel

A deal on free travel across Europe after Brexit is as vital to EU countries as it is to the UK, according to a new tourism study which shows that the Continent could lose as much as £33 billion if no deal is struck

For example, UK visitors to Spain are worth £12 billion alone representing 26 per cent of the total expenditure and are the biggest contributor to the Spanish economy.

In Malta 16 per cent of all businesses are connected to UK travel.

A leading analyst and tourism specialist at Euromonitor Alexander Goransson says that Britain is the biggest contributor to the Spanish economy. If UK tourist numbers to Spain declined by 20 per cent the overall Spanish tourist numbers would drop by five per cent and if UK travellers ceased to go altogether there would be a 20-25 per cent drop in total tourist activity.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) commissioned the study amid fears that tourism could be badly hit by any new visa system that is too expensive or tied up in too much red tape when Britain leaves the EU in 2019. ABTA has renewed its appeal to Brussels to reach a Brexit deal that gives tourists easy access to the remaining countries in the EU.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says: “British nationals can continue to travel freely within the EU using a UK passport.

“Until we formerly exit the EU, the UK remains a full member and as such, can expect to travel freely around Europe. There will continue to be no visa requirements for British nationals entering another EU country.”

The EU has proposed a three-year visa would cost £4.50.