No visa bid for British tourists
Spanish government to fight against visa proposals
THE GOVERNMENT will fight to ensure that British visitors to Spain do not have to fill out a visa application after Brexit.
This was the message given by secretary of state for European affairs Jorge Toledo, when he visited Alicante on Tuesday to attend the forum set up by Alicante University and regional newspaper Diario Información to discuss the implications of Brexit.
Alicante businessmen voiced concerns about the impact on tourism, with 19 million trips made to Spain last year by visitors from the UK.
Sr Toledo recognised that the British market is ‘ fundamental’ for Alicante province and the country as a whole.
He said the national government is hoping to ensure these tourists will be able to visit Spain without having to fill out additional paperwork after Britain leaves the European Union. Sr Toledo noted that the UK has never been in the socalled Schengen Area, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished.
He said the position of the government in the current negotiations is that Britons should only have to show a passport to enter Spain – as they do at the moment.
Sr Toledo added that perhaps a bigger potential problem is finding a substitution for the ‘open skies’ agreement, which the UK is currently part of with the rest of the countries in the EU.
Budget airline Ryanair has already stated that they fear this could lead to planes being grounded.
Sr Toledo said it could be difficult for negotiators to reach a deal which will maintain the current number of flights between the EU and the UK.
He added that a loss of purchasing power of British buyers due to a weaker pound post-Brexit could also have a negative effect on property sales in Alicante province.