It has dominated the public conversation for over two years, forced a general election, driven divisions within the government, thrown an entire country into disarray and still yet no-one seems to know what is happening with Brexit.
As ministers rejected Teresa May’s plan to leave the European Union (EU), the clock is now ticking towards March 29th and the United Kingdom risks exiting without a deal. While the news, public forums and chat shows seem to be a parade of politicians and pundits shouting slogans such as “leave means leave” and denying statements they previously made, there is a sense that nobody knows what comes next.
Among the many questions people have, one is what happens to people that have booked holidays after the Brexit deadline. Here is what we know about what could happen in the travel industry post-Brexit.
Flights will still operate from the UK to Europe
While it was once unthinkable, there have been concerns that a no-deal Brexit could mean a grounding of flights between the UK and the EU. However, the European Commission has reassured UK citizens that flights will still operate between the two and the UK government has offered the same assurances to EU airlines.
You may need at least 6 months left on your passport
If you have a holiday booked after March 29th you need to check whether if your passport is due to expire. While you can currently travel to any EU country as long as your passport is valid on the day you return, should the UK leave without a deal this will change. The government has recommended that if you are travelling soon to ensure you have at least six months left on your passport.
Travel insurance become even more important
Travel insurance is set to become an absolute necessity in the event of a no-deal. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) currently allows any EU citizen access to medical care when in another EU country, however these will become invalid should the UK opt for no-deal. This means you will need to have insurance that covers all your circumstances and any activities you are doing while on holiday.
Data roaming charge could be re-introduced
It has never been easier to stay connected while on holiday thanks to the EU rules to abolish data roaming charges. Under the current rules, making calls, sending messages and using the internet is included in your mobile phone package but without a deal this could be taken away. It is advised to check with your mobile phone provider before travelling.
You may require a permit to drive in Europe
The event of a no-deal Brexit will have ramifications if you plan on driving in Europe. At the moment, you don’t need an additional licence to drive in the EU but if the UK government to reach an agreement it will mean you may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit. These are available from the AA, RAC or the Post Office and cost £5.50 but make sure to check the specific permit required for the country you are visiting.
Potential future visa charges
One of the main talking points following the Brexit vote was whether UK citizens would need visas to travel to EU countries. In November 2018, the European Commission announced that it would still be possible to visit the EU without a visa even in the event of a no-deal. However, this is on the provision that the same allowance is given to European citizens visiting the UK. The organisation added that from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee of around €7 to exempt from applying for a visa.
Find out more about the ramifications of Brexit on the travel industry from ABTA here – https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/brexit-advice-for-travellers