Furious British expats blast EU’s new post-Brexit travel rules

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Furious British expats blast EU’s new post-Brexit travel rules which will ban them from spending more than three months at a time at their holiday home from January

  • Travel rules will change after end of the post-Brexit ‘standstill’ transition period 
  • After January 1 UK tourists visiting EU countries will be restricted to 90 day stays
  • The rules have prompted a backlash from Britons who own holiday home in EU 

Furious British expats have blasted post-Brexit travel rules which will prevent them from spending more than three months at a time at a holiday home in the EU. 

New travel restrictions will come into force on January 1 after the end of the ‘standstill’ transition period. 

They will mean that Britons will only be allowed to stay in a European country without a visa for a maximum of 90 days in every six month period.

EU countries are under pressure to change the rules to allow longer stays amid fears the measures will spell the end for many people’s dreams of having a foreign bolthole. 

People who exceed the 90 day limit could face the threat of a fine or even be banned entry to the EU’s Schengen travel zone.

Britons will only be allowed to stay in a European country without a visa for a maximum of 90 days in every six month period under post-Brexit rules. Pictured is a beach in the Bay of Lindos in Rhodes, Greece 

There are an estimated 500,000 Britons who own a holiday home somewhere in Europe and the new rules could make it difficult for them to get value for money from their purchase. 

Anyone who wants to stay in an EU country for longer than three months will likely have to apply for a visa.    

Campaigners are calling for the rules to be changed to allow people to use their 90 day allocations continuously. 

This would allow them to spend six months in a row at their holiday home so they could take full advantage of the Spring and Summer months. 

David Young, who set up campaign group 180 Days in Greece to fight the new rules, told The Telegraph: ‘Like me, many Brits divide their lives between two countries, but after Brexit – unless they apply for full residency in the EU country where they’ve bought their property, pay taxes there, and lose their NHS provision back home – second-home owners will be limited to stays of a maximum of 90 days.’ 

He added: ‘Citizens from the EU, EEA and Switzerland who want to stay in the UK for up to six months will not require a visa post-Brexit. All we are asking for is parity.’ 

Veryan Young, 42, who moved from Devon to France with her family in August, told the Daily Star: ‘It kind of concentrated the mind. It is going to be much harder to divide your time between two countries after January.’

The official UK Government guidance on the new rules states: ‘From 1 January 2021, you will be able to travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.

‘To stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel, you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by the country to which you are travelling. 

‘This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. You may also need to get a visa if your visit would take you over the 90 days in 180 days limit.

‘Periods of stay authorised under a visa or permit will not count against the 90-day limit. Travel to the UK and Ireland will not change.’

The row over post-Brexit travel rules came as the UK and the EU remain deadlocked in trade negotiations.

The two sides are meeting in London for the latest round of talks amid hopes a deal could be in sight by Friday. 

Environment Secretary George Eustice warned this morning ‘we really are now running out of time’ to strike an accord as the clock ticks down to the end of the transition period. 

He said Britain and Brussels are entering a ‘crucial week’ and ‘we need to get a breakthrough’.  

But he said there could be scope to extend negotiations beyond Friday if the two sides are ‘nearly there’ on an agreement. 

However, he said eventually there will ‘come a point’ where it will be ‘too late’ for an accord because the EU and the UK will need time to ratify and roll out any deal before the end of transition next month. 

His comments came after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said yesterday that ‘there is a deal to be done’ but fishing rights is still the ‘one outstanding major bone of contention’. 

As well as fishing, the two sides remain in a state of stalemate over the so-called ‘level playing field’ on rules and the future governance of the deal.  

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