Brexit: Portugal Airports To Launch Separate Passport Lanes For Brits
Amid the ceaseless question mark that is Brexit, Portugal is set to introduce some stability by making plans to launch corridors in its airports so that British tourists will continue to get fast-track access to the country.
According to the Guardian, this is just one of a number of contingency plans to help the UK cope with the uncertainty of a Brexit deal (or no deal). After all, the countries are the world's oldest allies and Brits contribute significantly to Portugal's tourism industry overall.
However, figures have shown that tourism has dropped in recent times as the value of the pound has fallen against the euro in the wake of Brexit concerns.
Portugal's Prime Minister, António Costa, said on Thursday: "Millions of Britons visit Portugal as tourists every year - we have to ensure the flow is not interrupted."
With this in mind, Faro airport in the Algarve and Funchal on the island of Madeira - two popular destinations for UK tourists - will operate special lanes for UK visitors similar to those for EU nationals.
With Theresa May's proposed Brexit deal rejected by Parliament this week, many are considering the possibility that the 'no deal' may be the outcome, leaving many EU residents in the UK and expats living in EU countries in a state of anxiety. However, when it comes to Portugal, the country is determined to keep it business as usual - no matter what the outcome.
Costa went on to state that the 23,000 Britons living in Portugal (although it's predicted this figure is more like 45,000 to 50,000) will continue to enjoy their residency rights, including access to the health service and recognition of driving licences and academic qualifications obtained in the UK.
The country's economy minister, Pedro Siza Vieira, also helped to ease expats' worries by declaring that they won't need a visa, even in the event of no-deal.
He told Reuters: "At this moment we do not even know what the UK wants.
"In the absence of an alternative proposal by the United Kingdom, what every (EU) member state is doing is adopting measures that allow them to react to a unilateral circumstance."
He explained: "We are ready to do this unilaterally," adding that he hopes the UK will do the same for Portuguese residents.
Featured Image Credit: PA