Decision is favorable for Malta’s tourism and hospitality sector
Following the EU ambassadors’ adoption of the European Commission legislative proposal to waive visa requirements to UK nationals for short stay visits to the EU post-Brexit, the Council is mandated to negotiate with the European Parliament to confirm this decision. The visa waiver to UK nationals will apply on condition of reciprocity. The UK government already indicated that it will not require EU citizens travelling to the UK for short stays to require a visa. However, if in future the UK introduces visa requirements for any one of the EU’s member states, the reciprocity mechanism will be reconsidered and the EU as a bloc will be required to introduce counterbalancing measures.
MBB President Simon De Cesare stated “Today’s decision by the Council of the EU is a sensible one. Irrespective of diverging views on Brexit and the economic challenges it will undoubtedly bring, citizens should be spared the negative impact as much as possible. Considering the amount of travel that goes on between EU member states and the UK for business or leisure purposes, introducing visa requirements would have resulted in unnecessary bureaucracy and costs for citizens.”
“This outcome is also positive for tourism and the Maltese hospitality sector, which relies on thousands of UK nationals visiting Malta, many times repeatedly. With the historic and cultural ties that we have with the UK and the existing connectivity network between the two countries, it is imperative that movement of people for short visits remains free of any barriers,” Mr De Cesare concluded.
The MBB augurs that that the Council and Parliament come to a swift agreement to provide stability and remove any doubts ahead of Brexit.