The European Union's supreme court told Britain on Thursday (December 18) that it could no longer require entry visas in advance for non-EU citizens who are family members of EU citizens and hold a residence permit from another member state.

Ruling in the case of Helena Patricia McCarthy Rodriguez, a Colombian married to a Briton living in Spain, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said EU rules did not allow London to insist on her applying in advance for an entry visa before she travelled from their home in Marbella to Britain.

Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said the government disagreed with the ruling. He said it would await a ruling on the issue from the British High Court before deciding how to respond.