How will Brexit affect Travel?
The 23rd of June 2016, the date that will go down in history as the day the UK decided to leave the EU and stun the rest of the Europe, if not the World. While everything is still very much up in the air and there are still at least two years of very intense negotiations to take place, many people are wondering just how will Brexit affect travel to the UK and the rest of Europe?
We’ve written this post not to engage in political debate or to try and get our own personal views across, but to give you the information on how Brexit may or may not affect any travel plans or potential travel plans you have coming up. But just bear in mind the UK will remain a member of the EU for at least the next two years, so any potential changes won’t be instant and will take some time to come into effect. Also, new arrangements will be renegotiated by the UK government, so nothing at the moment is really set in stone, contrary to some posts we’ve already read.
Cheap travel to the UK for Americans?
As the result of Brexit became clear the British pound plummeted to a 30 year low against the US dollar, and while it has started to rise the exchange rate is still very good. With London traditionally being an expensive travel destination now is the time for US based travellers to head on over and visit the capital city and the rest of the U.K. The Euro also fell making European destinations cheaper for Americans to head over the Atlantic and travel through Europe. Unfortunately for us Brits, travelling to the US has suddenly got more expensive!
No frills airlines are big business in Europe and one of the biggest, Easyjet is based in Luton, UK. Due to treaties between European countries, low cost airlines have thrived not just in the UK but across Europe, thanks to the single aviation area across Europe. Now the UK has left the EU arrangements will have to be made for new air service agreements, something that Norway, who aren’t in the EU have successfully negotiated.
Higher mobile phone roaming Fees?
Thanks to pressure from the EU the cost of using your phone abroad have fallen over the past few years and in 2017 roaming charges are to be completely stopped. Now because the UK has left the EU this will effectively exclude UK residents from benefiting from this deal.
The end of the freedom of movement deal?
Once the UK has officially left the EU, experts strongly believe British citizens will not be affected a great deal when travelling in Europe, yes we will still have the hassle of passport control but the talk of having to get visas seem to be just hearsay and not realistic. It will also allow the UK to negotiate new bilateral visa agreements with non-EU countries, so not all bad on that front.
What it may affect is the Schengen arrangement, the freedom of movement across EU mainland borders. While everything is still guesswork, experts believe other countries may try and follow the UK’s lead and leave the EU which in turn would, in theory, put an end to the freedom of movement and border checks reintroduced.
The end of reciprocal health benefits across the EU?
The European health card allows EU residents access to public healthcare on the same basis as local residents in EU countries. While the UK leaving the EU could possibly put an end to this entitlement before joining the EU the UK had health agreements in place with many European countries so it is likely a similar deal will be negotiated. If these deals can’t be put in place then travel insurance will without a doubt definitely increase.
So as you can tell while Brexit could impact the travel industry there is still a lot to sit down and negotiate and while we are certainly no experts we both strongly believe not much will change when it comes down to travel due to the EU not wanting to harm other members. Last year 13 million Brits visited Spain alone and spent over £20 billion throughout Europe, making travel in Europe harder for Britsih citizens would in no doubt cause a big decrease in these numbers which in turn will affect tourism in European countries.
For now, we would say still book and plan your travels and wait and see what happens as there’s no point in unnecessary panicking and guesswork.