Proposals that would mean Britons do not require a visa for short visits to the EU after Brexit, even in the event of no deal, are a step closer to being rubber-stamped.
EU ambassadors have agreed that UK citizens coming to the Schengen area for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period should be granted visa-free travel.
A statement issued by the Council of the EU said: “Ambassadors mandated the Council Presidency to start negotiations with the European Parliament on this legislative proposal.
“According to EU rules, visa exemption is granted on condition of reciprocity.
“The government of the United Kingdom has stated that it does not intend to require a visa from EU citizens travelling to the UK for short stays.
“In the event that the United Kingdom introduces a visa requirement for nationals of at least one member state in the future, the existing reciprocity mechanism would apply and the three institutions and the member states would commit to act without delay in applying the mechanism.”
Meanwhile, the UK Government hit back after a document outlining the proposals described Gibraltar as a “colony of the British crown”.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It is completely unacceptable to describe Gibraltar in this way.