The move permits stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period, but does not grant the right to work.
Members of the European Parliament have said British citizens should be allowed to travel to continental Europe without a visa after Brexit.
The vote approving the motion to allow tourism or business trips was overwhelmingly in favour today, with 501 votes against 81, with 29 abstentions.
If there is a Brexit deal, it will include a 21-month transition period during which the current rules will continue to apply.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA said: “Today’s vote provides absolute certainty that UK holidaymakers and business travellers will be able to travel visa-free to Europe, deal or no deal.
All UK nationals who are planning to reside in, travel to, work or study in the EU or European Free Trade Area (EFTA) states (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) are strongly advised to check the latest country-specific guidance on GOV.UK and NHS.UK about healthcare arrangements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The Department of Health and Social Care has been working closely with EU member states and EFTA states to protect existing healthcare arrangements for these and other groups. However, it is not possible for the UK government to guarantee access unilaterally to healthcare abroad.
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At the moment, UK driving licences may be used to drive anywhere in the EEA (this is the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
If Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement is passed, UK licences will still be valid for visiting EEA countries.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, then the situation gets complicated.
The government will try to do deals allowing UK licences to be recognised for visits to Europe. But if it doesn’t manage to do so, then drivers will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for all EEA countries except the Republic of Ireland. IDPs can be bought at Post Offices for £5.50. You may also need to carry your UK driving licence.
There are three different types of IDP, known as the 1926, 1949 and 1968 IDPs – the numbers refer to the dates of the conventions on road traffic that established them.
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Michael Gove has warned re-imposing direct rule for Northern Ireland from Westminster is a “real possibility” if there is a no-deal Brexit.
Devolved government in Northern Ireland collapsed in January 2017 after a row between the power-sharing parties.
MPs have voted to reject the UK leaving the EU with no deal – but it is not legally binding.
The environment secretary said direct rule would be a “grave step” the government would have to consider.
Responding to a question from North Down MP Lady Hermon, Mr Gove told MPs: “We, in the circumstances that the house voted for no deal, would have to start formal engagement with the Irish government about providing strengthened decision-making in the event of that outcome, and that would include the very real possibility of imposing a form of direct rule.
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Both the UK and EU have repeatedly said that in the event of the UK leaving without a withdrawal agreement, flights would continue. In September 2018, the government published a technical notice which set out that the UK would take a pragmatic approach and envisaged granting member state airlines with permission to operate. This was in the expectation that EU countries would reciprocate and give UK airlines permission to operate.
In December 2018, the Commission published a proposal for a regulation to ensure air connectivity which would be the basis for EU countries to give UK airlines permission to operate in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement. A final version of the draft regulation has been provisionally agreed by the EU. This is expected to be confirmed by the Council and the European Parliament shortly.
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Ministers could potentially consider some type of post-Brexit ID card system for the UK, the immigration minister has said, saying this would be a response to the sheer complexity of residence rules once free movement ends.
Giving evidence to the EU home affairs subcommittee in the House of Lords, Caroline Nokes said particular difficulties could arise in the event of a no-deal Brexit, as there would be seven separate ways under which EU nationals could legally be in the UK.
“I very much hope that we do not … but I’m conscious that we may well end up in a no-deal situation,” she told the committee.
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For MPs voting on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the so-called backstop plan for Northern Ireland has come to epitomise Brexit’s hardest choices.
Leo Varadkar, the Irish premier, first used the term in December 2017 to describe the arrangements to keep an open border on the island of Ireland “if all else failed” in Brexit talks.
Since then, the backstop has been much maligned in Westminster and often misunderstood. The question of whether it might “endure indefinitely” — as Geoffrey Cox, Britain’s attorney-general, concluded last year — became a rallying point for opposition to the Brexit deal, uniting both Brexiters and Unionists in parliament.
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