Couple walking by the sea

How Will Brexit Affect our Holidays?

News July 20, 2016


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.


Geoff Webb

08 July 2016

Well this pretty much says all OK till we leave! Its after that we are concerned about.personally I think it will be terrible and I wish Government would ignore the referendum


09 July 2016

Hi Geoff, thanks for your message. You're right, it doesn't look like much is going to change for now - which is reassuring for people who are going on holiday soon. In terms of the future, who knows what's going to happen. As soon as further developments are made we'll be updating this blog post, though. Thanks for posting.

Martin Freye.

09 August 2016

We voted LEAVE! Get over it

Soo Bower

11 August 2016

But don't forget that Europe will need to use our airspace so there will be room for negotiations.

Les Green

09 August 2016

Why are people concerned about leaving the E U we managed before we joined what's the difference between now and then.We used to go to Europe then a lot of twin towns were made it was not difficult to travel between countries so. I cannot see a lot altering now , all the scaremongering from people that don't know anything about it all just wait and see.

Joe Fraser

09 August 2016

Well what happend to the democratic vote! according to Geoff he hopes the government will ignore the majority who voted to leave. Perhaps if Geoff had a more positive attitude it will work.


09 August 2016

It will be business as usual as far as I can see. Despite a booming stock market GBP has taken a battering on the forex. Last week's interest rate cut didn't help matters. The Bundesbank keeps the Euro relatively high in contrast to the generally weak Eurozone economies. In the short term you won't get as much for your pound & aviation costs may rise slightly. Many airlines have hedged fuel prices & things may not change in a hurry. My advice is shop around wisely & make sure you get the best forex rates on WeSwap.

John Stafford

09 August 2016

We probably won't notice much of a change after we officially leave the EU; most trade agreements aren't subject to EU sanction, and the member countries are still going to want our hard earned dosh. There are plenty of restrictive, so called democratic countries Geoff could move to if he wants a government that ignores the wishes of its population.

Justin Case

10 August 2016

Travelling it's the thing that we should be concerned about. It's the economy which will certainly be in trouble.


11 August 2016

This article raises more questions than it answers and rightly so, as we head into an unknown, bleak and uncertain future. Might be a good time to fasten our seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy ride.


21 August 2016

Prior to the referendum we were all (well almost) asking the wrong question. The totally undemocratic, corrupt and inefficient EU is clearly doomed to failure. Rich German bankers screwing the population in Greece crates instability and can’t go on for ever. It would have collapsed already if the bank hadn’t resorted to printing money and that is not a sustainable solution. The question should have been what effect our departure would have on the EU? Perhaps it will trigger its demise. It will certainly accelerate it.

Roger Land

22 August 2016

Britain still holds most of the trading aces compared to Europe.

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