British MEPs voted against Brits getting a visa waiver to enter the EU in the event that Brexit happens without a deal. They have given the reasons behind their vote.
The visa-waiver motion was made by an MEP from Bulgaria. The proposal sought to include British citizens into the EU’s visa-waiver program which benefits are already being enjoyed by citizens of “third countries” such as Japan, the US, and Australia. Surprisingly, thirty British MEPs rejected the offer by voting against it.
According to the MEPs, the European Council, after getting pressured by Spain, added a footnote to the proposal which in turn, triggered them to reject it.
Gibraltar is a point of controversy between the UK and Spain
The MEPs cited the controversy between Spain and the UK which root cause is the sovereignty over Gibraltar as the reason for their rejection of the proposal.
Claude Moraes, the Labour MEP, was formerly in charge of the proposal. He opposed the motion and consequently, his MEP colleagues removed him from his duty. Later on, he voted against the motion.
The British MEP who is in charge of the territory under dispute maintained that the sovereignty of Gibraltar is non-negotiable despite whatever games the EU and Spain might be playing.
Another MEP, John Flack, who is rather conservative, said the proposal was sensible and reasonable but that he voted against it because Spain was making unnecessary statements by hijacking the vote.
MEP Daniel Dalton lent voice to Flack’s stand on the matter, saying that while the visa-free rule is important for UK and EU citizens, they wouldn’t accept it at the expense of a claim on Gibraltar which is a part of the UK territory.
Many other MEPs expressed their willingness to vote in favor of the proposal but for the reference to Gibraltar.
But then, in spite of the protest votes from UK MEPs, the vote was still passed with 502 votes against only 81.
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