The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 and there are still many unanswered questions that residents of the UK require answers to. How will this affect me and my family are some of the biggest concerns that have been vocalised. One huge question that keeps cropping up is how will Brexit affect travelling?
At Not Just Travel, we appreciate that your holiday time is precious, and our team of friendly Personal Travel Consultants are on hand to answer your most pertinent questions.
How will Brexit affect my holiday?
No one wants to pay out good money for a holiday only to be advised that there is ‘no deal’ when it comes to your departure. The truth is that there is no definitive answer until as and when a deal is agreed. However, some key travel bodies have announced new information pertaining to the UK’s eventual split from the EU which has offered some clarity and reassurance.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) have said that ‘it is fine to do so’ when it comes to making travel bookings post Brexit. A spokesperson for the body (when speaking to BBC News earlier this month) said:
"There's nothing to suggest holidays won't go ahead as planned next year. We're heading into the travel industry's sales period, when some of the best deals and discounts are available, so we want people to carry on booking as normal."
If you have any questions regarding your holiday booking, please do give your dedicated Personal Travel Consultant a call and we will be happy to discuss this further.
Could my travel be disrupted by Brexit?
The main advantages of booking with Not Just Travel is not only that your package holiday is protected, but that we are on hand to help should any problems arise.
There have been some concerns that should the UK walk away without a deal that we could see airports and ferry ports grind to a standstill which could result in traffic chaos. However, the European Commission have stated that no aircraft will be grounded, even if no deal is reached.
We all have experienced the inconvenience and frustration of a delayed flight. It is possible that we could see flight delays as a result of Brexit. The European Commission’s Regulation EU261/2004 on Air Passenger Rights allows you to claim compensation should your flight with an EU airline or out of an EU airport be cancelled or delayed.
The Government have stated that these rights are set to remain post-March 29, 2019, with the government insisting that 'EU passenger rights legislation will be retained in domestic law by the Withdrawal Act.'
However, despite these assurances, it seems that this regulation will not protect travellers from what is deemed as 'extraordinary circumstances'; this can be defined as any set of occurrences outside of an airline's control. Under EU261, this includes everything from natural disasters and strikes to, sadly, Brexit.
When you book a holiday with Not Just Travel, we will package everything together for you, which provides you with the required consumer protection and a full refund if your holiday can no longer be provided. This means that you don’t need to worry about being out of pocket as we will handle every aspect of this for you.
Therefore, you can relax in the knowledge that your holiday is protected but please free to discuss any concerns with your Not Just Travel Personal Travel Consultant.
What travel documents will I need post Brexit?
You shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. ABTA have stated that "The European Commission has said that even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers’ wont’ need a visa.”
Under a Brexit deal, both UK nationals and EU citizens will be able to continue to travel freely with a passport or identity card until the end of the transition period in 2020. When that ends, the European Commission has offered visa-free travel for UK nationals coming to the EU for a short stay, on the basis that the UK reciprocates.
Thereafter, British people will need to apply for and purchase a new document called the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System). It is estimated that this will cost in the region of €7 (around £6.08 based on the exchange at the time of writing) This will work in a similar way to the US ESTA programme.
The ETIAS will need to be valid for three years, but timescales suggest that this won’t be place until at least 2021.
Will my passport be valid after Brexit?
We would recommend that you check the expiry date of your passport. If you are travelling to the EU after the 29 March 2019, the UK government has recommended that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival to an EU country.
It is important to check if you have renewed your passport, if you have renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, those extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. Therefore, these extra months over the 10-year period will not count towards the six months that must be remaining.
The UK Government has published a website tool that allows you to check the validity of your passport under these rules.
It’s never been easier to renew your passport, you can do this online or you can visit a Post Office and use their Check and Send service.
If you have any concerns with regards to your passport, please feel free to give your Personal Travel Consultant a call.
Can I still use my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) after Brexit?
Presently, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of the UK not reaching a deal with regards to Brexit, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid.
It is always highly recommended that both business travellers and holidaymakers take out the appropriate level of travel insurance.
To find out more about our travel insurance options, please speak to your Not Just Travel Personal Travel Consultant.
Is a UK driving licence valid in Europe after Brexit?
Presently, if you have a full UK driving licence, you are able to drive in the EU. This is likely to change in a no-deal scenario and UK driving licence holders may need an International Driving Permit (IDP). These cost £5.50 and can be obtained directly from the AA, the RAC or the Post Office.
For a full breakdown of which of the IDP’s you might need, please visit the Government’s website for further details or call your friendly Personal Travel Consultant.
Will pet passports be affected by Brexit?
If no deal is reached for Brexit, pets would continue to be able to travel from the UK to within the EU, but the requirements for documents and health checks would change. If you wish to take your pet to the EU on the day of or after 29 March 2019, pet owners would need to discuss preparations for their pet’s travel with their vet at least four months prior to travelling.
There are lots of amazing alternatives to travelling within the EU if you are still concerned about the ramifications of Brexit. Why not consider a trip to the likes of Thailand, Bahrain, Iceland, America, South Africa and more for an unforgettable experience. Give your Personal Travel Consultant a call today to discover the fantastic offers available today.