Pedro Siza Vieira, the Portuguese Minister for Economy, has said that citizens of the United Kingdom, who are living in the country, will continue to keep their residency rights and tourists would not need a visa even if a no-deal Brexit occurs. The Minister stated this while also saying that he hopes that these same benefits will be made available to the country from Britain in return.
On March 29, Britain will be due to bow out from the European Union, but a rejection by the Parliament of the Withdrawal Agreement made by Prime Minister Theresa May with Brussels has put this plan into chaos. These include quitting the Union without having any agreements in place for future relations or even putting a stop to Brexit altogether.
In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Suzanne Pedro Siza Vieira was quoted as saying, “At this moment we do not even know what the United Kingdom wants.”
At the moment however, every EU state seems to be pushing to adopt certain measures which will allow them to still be able to react even in a unilateral circumstance. This is just in case or in the absence of the United Kingdom making an alternative proposal.
However, without a Brexit deal, citizens of the United Kingdom who are residing in Portugal will continue to retain all the rights they have been enjoying, inclusive of unfettered access to healthcare. Pedro Siza Vieira said that Portugal is completely ready to carry out these plans while hoping that the United Kingdom can reciprocate the gesture.
In a separate speech on Thursday, the Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, announced that in the cities of Madeira and Algarve, airports will open different custom lanes for tourists from the UK in order to make entry easier if Britain quits the European Union. In addition, there would be a judicial cooperation with the UK as well.
Portugal has said that they expect that tourism will continue to grow, though it may not be at the same rate as in previous years. Although British people form the biggest chunk of tourists, their numbers have reduced in the recent times as the Euro gained strength over the Pound Sterling with concerns over Brexit.