UK citizens will continue to enjoy visa-free travel in the EU after Brexit but, post-Brexit or in the event of a no deal, will have to pay small fee for authorisation, the European Commission (EC) confirmed.
Under the EU's Travel Information and Authorisation System (Etias), Britons will have to pay a €7 administration fee, giving them 90-day access to the Schengen zone in any 180-day period. The electronic system is similar to the Esta programme in the United States, and each approved Etias application would be valid for three years.
Etias means that travellers from Britain will be treated in the same way as those from the US and Australia if they wish to make a short journey across the Channel.
For its part, the British government has confirmed its intention not to require a visa from citizens of the 27 member states for short stays for the purposes of tourism or business.
Just before Christmas, a spokesman for Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EC, tweeted: "Yes Etias will apply to the UK as 3rd country post-Brexit - 7 euros for a 3 year pre-travel authorisation. Simple form, like Esta to the US, but way cheaper."
British citizens would not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen zone for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
In the possible scenario whereby the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this arrangement would apply as of 30 March.