Travelling to Europe after Brexit
Vote after vote in Parliament over the UK’s departure from the EU has so far ended in deadlock. With the Prime Minister’s deal being rejected again and again, we are no nearer to being sure of what will happen on the 29th March. For many of us who regularly travel to Europe, on business or for pleasure, we are mostly confused as to how the outcome will affect us. The same confusion applies to those Brits who live and work in Europe or simply travel backwards and forwards to a second home.
The Government having originally put in place Article 50 to bring us out of the EU, then voted against a ‘Deal’, then voted against a ‘No-deal’. At present they have voted against another referendum, although it is possible, apparently, that this could change in the future! But how much time is left to make decisions; it appears to the majority of us, only days, and that makes us nervous!
How will Brexit affect holidays?
For those of us wishing to book our summer holidays, or just take a short break to Europe, this uncertainty is leaving a nasty taste in our mouths. We are being assured and reassured that even with the worst case scenario of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, we will still be able to fly into European airspace and visit Europe, just as we do now. Countries such as Spain and Greece rely heavily on revenue brought in from UK tourists. It would not be in their interest to prevent us from travelling and spending our cash, in what is a lucrative tourism market.
Cheap Holiday Deals
With all the uncertainty at present, one consequence of it all is that those of us with the correct documents wanting to get away, will find some great deals. Tour operators and airlines have thousands of unsold seats and beds in the run up to the 29th of this month and in the days after. If you are able to take some leave, check out holiday sites for a great bargain.
Tuesday 26th March appears to be a great day to travel with 7 night holidays including accommodation, flights, transfers and baggage being available for as little as £175! Tui has flights available in the next 2 weeks to Alicante from £49 return; Lanzarote or Tenerife from £69 return.
If there were to be no deal, then in theory the free service that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) offers, would cease to exist. At present we have a reciprocal agreement with many countries for free healthcare, which would no longer be the case. It is, of course, imperative that you take out Travel Insurance when you visit another country, just as it has always been.
According to the gov.uk website, the rules for travel to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal. If you renewed your existing passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport. In the event of a no-deal, these extra months may not count. Therefore, you should have 6 months remaining on your passport from the day it was issued, not the date it expires. If you are affected, and are thinking of travelling in the next few weeks, you are advised to delay booking until we are sure of the outcome on the 29th March. You would not receive a new passport in time should you apply now, unless you are prepared to pay £177 for an urgent passport (more than twice the normal fee of £75.50).
Travelling with Pets
Just as with our passports, those of our pets will also be affected. With a ‘no-deal’ scenario, pet passports issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to the EU from 29th March. The gov.uk website has further information, but in any case, you need to contact your vet at least 4 months before travel to get the latest advice.
Finally, bear in mind that if this historical day passes without incident and we find ourselves still in the EU for a while longer, we will all be able to travel as normal, at least for a while! It’s still important to book your airport parking as soon as possible to get the best deal, but we suggest you choose a flexible option so you can cancel or amend it later if you need to!