The post-referendum dust has started to settle, but there are still necessary questions around its implications for us travellers. Namely, how will Brexit affect our holidays?
Although not everything has become 100% clear yet, here’s what we know today – and we’ll keep updating this blog as we know more. If you do have any questions, please pop them in the Comments section at the bottom.
My passport and driving licence. Is anything going to change?
Nothing will change here in the short-term. At least not until Britain leaves the EU which is likely to be around two years from now.
You’ll notice the top of your passport says European Union. Same goes for your driving licence. This will gradually change once Britain leaves, but rather than recall these rather important travel docs, it’s more likely that new designs will be phased in as people’s old passports begin to expire. [More info]
Which queue shall I go into at the airport – EU Passports or All Others?
Head to the same queue you would have stood in pre-vote. Until the UK officially leaves the EU, there will be no change to queuing arrangements at border control! Conversely, sunbed queuing promises to be as haphazard as ever. And nobody really knows if a towel secures your spot. Fact. [more info]
What about my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
No need to worry about this for now as you can still use your EHIC card abroad. Arrangements between the UK and other EU countries will have to be reached once the UK officially leaves the EU. It’s worth bearing in mind that the EHIC scheme isn’t full-proof health insurance anyway. Whilst it certainly helps if something goes wrong – you should always take out full travel insurance too.
Switzerland and Iceland are both countries outside the EU that use the EHIC scheme. It remains to be seen whether the UK will be able to negotiate similar terms. [More info]
I’ve booked a holiday for next year – do I need to do anything?
No. Until the UK officially leaves the EU, we’ve heard nothing to suggest that there will be any changes to your holiday arrangements. If you have any trepidations, then just double check with your agent or booking provider via email. Easy as that. [More info]
Can I still get compensation if my flight is delayed or cancelled?
Yes. Thankfully you can. Again, indications are that there will be no immediate changes to claiming compensation if your flight is delayed or cancelled. The UK Government will need to implement a new law on compensation for flight delays and compensation after we leave the EU. Obviously, it remains to be seen what those laws will be exactly. [More info]
What about duty-free? Can I still bring goods home?
You can still duty-free shop until you drop for the next two years. Good for those who would consider going on holiday just to get those giant Toblerone bars. The free movement of goods will be a part of a negotiated settlement with the EU too. Get that Toblerone while you still can. And don’t give it away at Christmas!
What about using my mobile phone abroad? Will roaming charges increase?
There will be no immediate changes to using your phone abroad, and there won’t be any immediate impact on charges either. Again, the UK Government will need to implement a new law on roaming charges after we leave the EU, otherwise the service providers will be free to set roaming charges. Something we almost got away from. *Sigh*. [more info]
Will the cost of flights increase?
This one of the more complicated issue as the cost of flights is determined by loads of factors including taxes and fuel costs. A weaker pound is likely to impact
the cost of flights in the short term. In the longer-term, the UK Government will also need to negotiate full access to the EU’s common aviation market, which has delivered the open skies arrangements we have across Europe today. [More info]
So there you have it. While we remain in the EU – which will be for another couple of years – nothing much should change when it comes to holidaying around Europe. During those two years, it will be down to the UK Government to determine the way forward for UK travellers in the future.
Are you still worried about how Brexit may affect our holidays? Do you have any other big questions you’d like answers to? (Brexit-related ones encouraged; we might struggle with ‘what is reality?’).
If you do then please pop them in the Comments section below we’ll do our best to get you an answer.