Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement, as regards the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union
1. This Explanatory Memorandum (EM) relates to a proposal by the European Commission to consider the UK as a non-visa required country, once the UK formally withdraws from the European Union (EU).
2. Currently, the UK is a Member State of the EU and, as such, UK nationals enjoy free movement under Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Directive 2004/38/EC. This affords the right to enter, move within and reside freely in any other Member State without the need to obtain permission via a visa or similar formality.
3. Upon departure from the EU the UK becomes, in EU terms, a third country: the current freedom of movement will cease to apply to UK nationals. A decision by the EU is required as to whether UK nationals will require a visa when crossing the external borders of the Schengen Area. Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 splits all third countries into two groups: those which require a visa (Annex I); and those which do not (Annex II).