Lengthy EU border delays for UK citizens in no-deal Brexit

The EU believes a no-deal Brexit is now "increasingly likely"

Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray (2nd R) and a pro-Brexit supporter clash outside the Houses of Parliament in London on March 25, 2019. Accused of presiding over an unprecedented national humiliation in her chaotic handling of Brexit, British Prime Minister Theresa May has all but lost control of her party and her government. / AFP / Adrian DENNIS
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British citizens will face border delays and passport stamps if visiting the European Union in the event of a chaotic no-deal Brexit, the bloc has announced.

While the EU has agreed to allow British people to visit visa free, so long as it is reciprocated, entry and exit complications are still to be expected if parliament fails to support the Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan on 12 April.

A statement by Brussels on Monday announcing it had completed hard Brexit preparations said “it is increasingly likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal on 12 April”.

British citizens will not be allowed to be able to use the separate lanes specifically intended for those from the EU or European Economic Area and “will be subject to thorough checks of all entry conditions for third country nationals upon entry”.

They will be asked how long they intend to stay, purpose of visit evidence of sufficient means to travel.

In theory they will also need a residence permit or long-stay visa for extensive trips to EU countries in line with local laws.

The EU said it was confident of its preparations for a no-deal Brexit having tabled 19 legislative proposals – only two of which are still to be finalised.

Last week the EU agreed to extend the Brexit date from 29 March until 22 May, so long as Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed withdrawal agreement is accepted by parliament by 12 April. If it is rejected again, have already been voted down twice this year, Britain would crash out without a deal.

“In a “no-deal” scenario, the UK will become a third country without any transitionary arrangements. All EU primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the UK from that moment onwards,” an EU statement said.

“There will be no transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. This will obviously cause significant disruption for citizens and businesses,” it added.