European Union ambassadors have greed that British citizens will be able to travel to the Schengen area without a visa for up to ninety days after Brexit in a text that has angered London by referring to Gibraltar as a UK colony.
The new regulation approved today by Member State ambassadors allows British nationals to travel around the EU for up to 90 days during a period of 180 days even if the UK leaves the EU without agreement and so long as the UK reciprocates the gesture.
London has already stated that it will not impose visa requirements of EU nationals visiting the UK.
However, the regulations make a distinction between British people living in the United Kingdom and residents of Gibraltar, which is referred to as “a colony of the British crown.”
“There is a controversy between Spain and the United Kingdom concerning the sovereignty over Gibraltar, a territory for which a solution has to be reached in light of the relevant resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly of the United Nations,” the footnote added.
Responding to the text, a spokesman for Theresa May said:
“It is completely unacceptable to describe Gibraltar in this way.”
“Gibraltar is a full part of the UK family and this will not change due to our exit from the EU,” he added.
Meanwhile the EU clarified that Gibraltarians will be treated the same as nationals in the United Kingdom in terms of the regulation proposed today regarding visa-free travel.
Currently, EU laws apply to Gibraltar as a European territory; however, this will automatically cease once the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
It is not the first time that Gibraltar has proved a point of contention in Brexit negotiations. In November, Spain threatened to block the agreement reached between the UK and Brussels on the grounds that it did not give sufficient legal guarantees that the Spanish Government would have the last word in any future deal regarding Gibraltar.