Holidays And The Brexit EffectWednesday, April 19, 2017
Britain is officially leaving the EU. Article 50 has been triggered and we now face two years of negotiations before the UK will finally say goodbye to its European partners. Although it's likely that we will remain a member of the EU until at least 2019, there are already questions about how the the Brexit effect will impact the millions of holidaymakers that flock to European beaches, cities of culture and skiing resorts every year. We might not see many changes for some time, but for regular travellers here are some of the key issues that will need addressing for anyone wanting to take a post-Brexit holiday.
Although we are unlikely to need a visa to travel through Europe even after Brexit we might find British passports are relegated to non-EU status which might mean longer airport queues. We may also see in the long-term a renege on the Schengen arrangement which could see the reintroduction of border controls across Europe making it much more difficult to travel freely.
Low Cost Flights
We have been spoilt in the last few years by really cheap flights to Europe and this has enabled thousands of more British people to travel and explore Europe’s diverse history and culture. These low costs were possible due to the EU’s removal of a bilateral restriction on air service agreements. With new service agreements now needing to be agreed the potential outcome of Brexit may be that we find low cost flights to Europe a thing of the past.
Loss of Compensation
The high levels of compensation British passengers can currently claim under EU directives on flight delays and cancellation is under threat by Brexit, which could mean a serious problem claiming back compensation in the future if there are any problems with your travel arrangements.
UK citizens are entitled to free or cheap health care if travelling or working in the EU thanks to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This handy card can also waive the excess on any travel insurance claims. Unfortunately its future is under question now that the UK will no longer be part of Europe although it is likely the reciprocal arrangements will remain in place at least for some time if the UK allow access to the NHS.
One of the key successes of the EU has been the reduction of pollution across European beaches both on land and in the sea. There is still much work to be done but will this continue to be a priority if the EU begins to collapse after Brexit?
We haven’t paid duty free on EU goods since 1999 but we have been able to bring home as much duty paid goods as we want which allowed the ‘booze cruise’ to boom and people profited handsomely on cheap wine and beer. We may see restrictions again on things like alcohol and cigarettes in line with the rest of the world once we finally leave Europe.