The EU published contingency plans for a “no-deal” Brexit on Tuesday, outlining a host of travel rights Britons would lose, from recognition of driving licences to loss of pet passports.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said that, while it is working hard for a deal, it must prepare for “all outcomes” and “contingency measures in narrowly defined areas” may be needed to protect the EU’s interests.
The announcement will pile pressure on London as Prime Minister Theresa May scrambles to unite her government behind an agreement, with time running out to reach a deal in time to have it ratified by Brexit day in March.
In one measure, Brussels said it will offer visa-free travel within the bloc to Britons, but warned this was “entirely conditional on the UK also granting reciprocal and non-discriminatory visa-free travel to EU citizens travelling to the UK”.
A seven-point advice notice to travellers between the UK and EU about what will happen if Britain crashes out without a deal spells out the rights Britons coming to the bloc will no longer enjoy.
British driving licences will no longer be recognised automatically by EU countries, leaving UK drivers to check with each country they travel in whether they will need an extra “international driving permit”, the notice says.
At airports, UK nationals will no longer be able to use the priority EU passport queue and will be subject to extra questions about the purpose and length of their visit.