BREXIT TRAVEL INFORMATION & NEWS

Until the British Parliament and the British Government jointly ratify the Brexit Transitional Agreement advocated by Teresa May and the European Union  it is impossible to predict how Brexit will affect travel for European Union nationals and United Kingdom Citizens.  If the proposed final agreement, a variation of the same or a new agreement is achieved the resulting changes will be implemented in orderly and structured processes between March 30th 2019 and December 2020. This by some commentators would be described as a ‘soft brexit’  It will mean that existing policies procedures and processes will continue with any changes being publicised in advance. 

A series of far more chaotic disruptive and unpredictable consequences could occur from March 30th with no or little advance notice if Britain leaves the EU on a ‘hard brexit basis’ with no Transitional Agreement in place.  These consequences could include changes to airlines flight patterns and landing rights at airports.  They could also result in new immigration controls which would make it more difficult, even as a tourist to enter a country. 

Driving

HOW BREXIT COULD AFFECT UK DRIVERS IN EU COUNTRIES

Currently all countries in the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland recognize valid driving licences from each other member counties. All these countries are able to enter into similar arrangements with non – member countries.

If Britain leaves the EU with out a ‘transitional agreement’ (a hard brexit) British driving licences may no longer be valid in the EU, EEA or Switzerland. Britain then will have to make separate arrangements with each country individually. Potentially this could take time and drivers from the UK and Northern Ireland could find that options on driving abroad restricted. For example a driver with na British licence could drive legally in Spain but might be breaking the if en-route they drove through France.

It is also possible that post Brexit you may additionally need an international drive licence to drive in European countries. These licences can be applied for through UK post offices and are valid for one year.

EUROPEAN HEALTH INSURANCE CARD (EHIC) 

Currently this scheme allows UK & EU citizens and nationals from the European Economic Area including Switzerland free emergency medical treatment provided they have registered for it.  During any  transitional period this UK participation in this scheme is unlikely to change.  Even if it was to change any registration that was ‘live’ at that the time of the change would probably be honoured.   However the UK Foreign Office in December 2018 were not able to confirm whether British participation in the scheme would continue if there was no Transitional Agreement in place when Britain leaves the EU. 

NEW VISA / LANDING CHARGES MAY APPLY TO UK CITIZENS VISITING EU COUNTRIES

Currently United Kingdom nationals can enter any EU country without a visa. If Britain leaves the EU on an agreed deal basis this is unlikely to change. If Britain leaves the EU on a ;no deal basis UK citizens will have to pay a fee of €7 (circa £6.50) for a visa to ravel to EU countries.

This visa will be valid for three years as a consequence of Brexit. The visa will be valid for multiple visits during its validity but it will only allow UK citizens to stay in anyone country for 90 days on a single visit.

The visa will be called ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) and is scheduled to be introduced in 2021. The scheme is modeled on the United States ESTA scheme and applicants will similarly have to apply and pay for the visa on line. The European Commission reason that introducing the scheme will improve security, and reduce illegal migration and terrorist threats. D

FOREIGN OFFICE ADVICE FOR UK CITIZENS TRAVELLING ABROAD

The Foreign Office strongly advise that all citizens, whether tourists or business travellers should take out personal/private comprehensive health and travel insurance before leaving the UK.  This advice is sound even if someone is registered with the European Health Insurance Card which does not cover some conditions such as dentistry or injuries sustained in leisure activities such as skiing and other sports

COMPENSATION FOR CANCELLED & DELAYED FLIGHTS

This is currently governed by European Law Currently an individual consumer may  submit a claim, subject to the claim complying with specific criteria,  to an airline if a flight is delayed or cancelled. These rights will be upheld during a Transition period. It is unclear what the situation will be if there is no Transitional Agreement. 

PACKAGE HOLIDAYS GUARANTEES & COMPENSATION

By definition these are holidays booked in the United Kingdom which include transport and accommodation.  Legitimate companies offer these holidays under the protection of ABTA or ATOL.  The protection that these bodies offer which includes assistance if a holiday company goes bankrupt and ceases to trade whilst a consumer is abroad will not be affected by the United Kingdom leaving the EU.   

 

 

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