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 Publituris, Spain will ask Brussels to lift this rule for British tourists, with Spain's Secretary of Tourism, Fernando Valdés, stating that this restriction "goes against the interests of Spain", adding that “it is a rule that, unfortunately, is not something that Spain has established by itself or can get rid of”.
Spain now intends to pressure Brussels to exempt British tourists from the rule, stating to the press in Spain that “it is in the country's interest to lobby and convince [the EU] to make an exception”.
Before the pandemic, Spain received around 84 million tourists a year, with 17 million traveling from the UK, with that number falling with the start of pandemic restrictions.
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 pulled out of EU-wide free movement agreements.
Negotiations on residence and tourism permits stalled, and in May of this year, British expats were banned from driving in Spain using UK driving licenses after the negotiations failed.
However, Spain is eager to see the British return, with details of a bilateral agreement that will allow tourism workers to remain in Spain during the holiday season.
I thought Spain was making things more difficult for Brits in Spain. Bit of a turnaround to try and scrap the 90 day rule but British driving licences not being recognised.
By Ian from Beiras on 15 Nov 2022, 13:26
The UK voted to leave the EU. This comes with consequences, both economic and political. Pity many in the south of Europe don't have the spine to live with this and have the UK dictate terms. The UK cannot have their cake and eat it.
By Jo Walker from Lisbon on 15 Nov 2022, 15:54
Looks like the UK is getting some very tasty cake, lol.
By Paul Bullock from Lisbon on 16 Nov 2022, 00:17
‘Jó Walker’, you didn’t read the article. It is Spain asking for this and not the UK.
You should have written ‘The EU can’t have their cake and eat it’.
By JG from Algarve on 16 Nov 2022, 05:19
The only logical action would be to agree on mutual longer stays in Europe and in UK for certain groups, e.g. pensioners or workers. It would of course take years to finalize such an agreement . Spain or Portugal can never sail a different course from Europe.
By Peter B from Other on 16 Nov 2022, 10:42
Why would we want to have more xenophobic Brits in Europe and even support their sense of exceptionalism? Very fortunately this is a no-go proposal for the EU as it would affect the whole immigration system. Brits voted to be out and now they have to live with their decision.
By Geert from Beiras on 16 Nov 2022, 10:56
Will this mean that Brits who have received Brexit Withdrawal resident permits in other EU countries will be allowed to be away from their host countries longer than the present 90 day allowance?
By Ian from Other on 16 Nov 2022, 11:06
Since brexit. which we didn't vote for, it has restricted our lives. We have an apartment in Lanzarote, but cannot get to it as much as we would like. My wife has serious lung damage and the climate in Lanzarote helps her a great deal. To get residecia now in Lanzarote is very difficult.
We certainly hope this ruling goes through.
By Dave Spencer from UK on 16 Nov 2022, 11:33
Portugal should do the same as Spain & get rid of the 90/180 rule, especially if you own a property, have a fiscal no. & pay IMI Taxes , support local businesses etc.. etc, thus adding to the local economy in many ways Nothing financial is taken out of Portugal. It’s madness that it’s not a reciprical arrangement. As for readers comments (obviously who are residents) people staying in Portugal add to you wellbeing!!
By Susan from Algarve on 16 Nov 2022, 12:16
I think the Portuguese Tourist Board should show support with Spain for lobbying for this change as it also must be costing them a great deal of lost revenue and Winter tourism should be encouraged.
By Tim Perry from Algarve on 16 Nov 2022, 13:03
As far as I am aware even before Brexit you could not stop indefinitely, it has always been a maximum of 6 months in one year otherwise you need residencia
By Peter bird from Algarve on 16 Nov 2022, 13:25
I am a Brexiteer I voted for Brexit but I love Portugal the two are not incompatible viewpoints. Loving Portugal does not require me to love the EU which I despise. Regarding the relationship between Portugal and Britain we have been best mates with the longest treaty in the world for 750 years. I do not give a toss how many Portuguese want to come and go and work in the UK they are nice people. As far as I am concerned they are just Kosher OK. The Irish historically have the freedom to come and go and work in the UK I see no reason why the Portuguese could not have the same deal. Being in the EU would make my life a lot easier and I would be on the first plane out to my HOME in Coimbra but what is good for me is not necessarily good for the UK.
By David-Paul Newton-Scott from Other on 16 Nov 2022, 13:48
It would be a great deal if it was achieved in the grounds of reciprocity. Not necessarily the right to work or other EU membership goodies, but the removal of time limits. But I don’t see it happening. Brussels’ inertia would stop that, and Britain would never accept these oh filthy lesser continentals crossing their iron curtain and freely stay inside their fortress island as they please ????.
By Raf from Lisbon on 16 Nov 2022, 14:00
This is outrageous. The population of the UK didn’t vote unanimously for freedom from the jackbooted fascists in Brussels, just to allow the Spanish to impose their rules on us. Brexit means Brexit.
By Mark Barber from UK on 16 Nov 2022, 15:29
I do hope Portugal follows Spain's example. It should be possible to align this with the Schengen rules especially with the new data systems in place.
By NB from UK on 16 Nov 2022, 17:22
The uk does not apply any 90 day rule to any part of the EU so all the Spanish
government are asking for is reprocity with the UK
By david cavanagh from UK on 16 Nov 2022, 17:59
One one hand the Spanish don’t want the older Brits in the country more then necessary, yet once they realise how much they contribute in the winter seasons especially they change their tune.
However it should be up to Spain how they manage people within their borders irrespective of the EU.
By jason scott lee from UK on 17 Nov 2022, 08:53
British people love Spain and Portugal and many want to spend the winters in these lovely countries it makes sense to have the older generation of British spending there money and time in these beautiful places.
By Michael from UK on 17 Nov 2022, 08:56
Why can't we have our cake and eat it, we bought the cake? The real question is 'why cut off your nose to spite your face'. People who come to a country and are net contributors are not a problem that should be the 'yard stick' not who, why or from wence they came. Next question is how you define contribution....
By Chris from Algarve on 17 Nov 2022, 09:21
Think is ya make your bed ya lie in it's quite simple england decided to take control and look after it's own borders an immigration sorry guys ya left the club bye bye.
By Brendan from Algarve on 17 Nov 2022, 10:21
Brexit this and EU that! It's like watching a dog chase it's tail. Entire regions of Spain and Portugal have had their traditional economies DISMANTLED but agreement with the EU. The traditional agricultural, manufacturing and fishing trades have been replaced by the miracle of tourism! The miracle is, it pays minimum wage. Tile manufacturing, cork manufacturing, rice production are gone in Lagos.
THEN Brexit pulls the single largest tourist plug in the region. THATS why the 90/180 rule is insane. You WANT tourists to come, once you have ravaged everything BUT tourism.
People simply don't THINK what excluding tourists and property owners means. Not to Mention the Mediterraneans HUGE sailing and cruising community.
Honest to God, it's like shooting yourself in the foot.
What if i want to rent a place in the EU for a year, travel and GOD FORBID spend my money? Sorry, go away, we don't want your money? I'm not British, I AM an EU citizen. This is still about the most counter intuitive way to do business imaginable.
By Jonathan Wexler from Other on 17 Nov 2022, 17:43
I already notice this year that possibly due to the 90 day rule, the British will visit at warmer times of year. I’ve never seen our local area so empty and so many businesses shut. With the global recession we should be promoting the British to stay as long as they want and contribute to the Portuguese economy
By David S from Algarve on 17 Nov 2022, 19:14
People that own property or are buying prooerty should be excempt just need a cert of proof of purchase mabe a visa for anyone else !! Spain portugal need us !! I didnt vote out of brexit!! & had my property in spain for 20 yrs ! Spain portugal greece etc should just ssy well we make our own visitation rules end off as tourism is there main income
By Bill Stewar from UK on 20 Nov 2022, 16:44
As Scot we did not vote as a nation to leave the EU, it was thrust on us by the UK government, since retiring my wife and I have spent the last 17 years wintering in Spain for 6 months, now in jour 80s our travel has been restricted at the worst time for us and others in a similar position.
By Jim Robb from USA on 05 Dec 2022, 10:10
Leaving the EU has, and will continue to damage, the UKs economic growth and consequently the living standards of all U.K. residents. This was true in 2016 although a minority of 17.4 millions (38%) were seduced by the dishonest rhetoric of the leave campaign. It is palpably proven to be true since the ridiculous “Withdrawal (Capitulation) Agreement” was signed with indecent haste on 31/12/20.
The Third Country 90/180 day rule is a consequence of that ludicrous fudge. However, change will happen as EU states such as Spain and Portugal are being enlightened on a daily basis of the damage and economic self-harm which this rule is inflicting. Fully 12% of Spain’s annual GDP comprises revenue from tourism with a high proportion generated by UK visitors - the rule compromises this source of revenue and, suddenly, Madrid and Lisbon understand this.
The matter of reciprocity adds to the economic case for change. Schengen residents can visit the UK for 180 days in any year - simply reciprocating this basic existing arrangement would sensibly protect the economies of Spain and Portugal.
There will be change even if the UK continues to isolate itself by remaining outside the EU
By Keith Spencer from UK on 17 Dec 2022, 11:35
This is simply brussels malicious attempt to punish the uk any other country wanting to plough there own furrow.This is plane and simple revenge and who's paying the prise of these unelected @£@&^ all of us,especially our beautify friends,spain,Portugal,grease and so on.
By David O Neill from UK on 30 Dec 2022, 14:45
not all of the UK decided to leave the EU SCOTLAND said stay
By andrew pagan gibson from UK on 20 Jan 2023, 17:02