Spain seeks to scrap 90-day rule for Britons

Currently, visitors from outside the European Union (EU), including the UK, can visit Schengen countries for 90 days in every 180-day period.

According to a report by PublicationsSpain will ask Brussels to lift this rule for British tourists, with Spanish Tourism Secretary Fernando Valdés saying the restriction “goes against Spain’s interests”, adding that “it’s a rule which, unfortunately, is not something that Spain has established itself or can get rid of”.

Spain now intends to pressure Brussels to exempt British tourists from the rule, telling the Spanish press that “it is in the country’s interest to put pressure and convince [the EU] to make an exception “.

Before the pandemic, Spain received around 84 million tourists a year, including 17 million from the UK, with that number falling as pandemic restrictions began.

However, the numbers have started to rise again this year, with 1.8 million Britons visiting Spain in the first quarter of 2022.

With tourism accounting for around 12% of Spain’s GDP, Brexit has made travel between the two countries more difficult as the UK withdraws from EU-wide free movement agreements.

Negotiations over residence and tourist permits have stalled and in May this year British expats were banned from driving in Spain with UK driving licenses after negotiations failed.

However, Spain is eagerly awaiting the return of the British, with details of a bilateral agreement that will allow tourism workers to stay in Spain during the holiday season.

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