Brexit-proof your European holidays after 29 March
A characteristic outburst by Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said that there would be travel chaos, were there to be ‘no deal’ Brexit. Following his statement there have been rumours that it isn’t safe to book a holiday travelling after Brexit on 29 March 2019.
However, it was reported in the press on 22.12.18 that a Downing Street spokesperson has said it was ‘categorically untrue’ that travellers should not book for travel in Europe after March 2019.
Even if March 2019 sees a ‘no deal’ exit from the EU, the European Commission and the UK Government have said that flights from the UK will still be able to operate.
ABTA has said “There is nothing to suggest that you will not be able to continue with your holiday plans after 29 March”
ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer added “Both the UK Government and the European Commission reiterated that flights will continue to operate between the UK and the EU after Brexit. We welcome the Transport Secretary’s clear statement that travellers can continue to book with confidence.”
In spite of this there is still some uncertainty about some flights should we leave with a no-deal.
The safest option is to book a package. However, look out for clauses allowing them to charge clients if the cost of the holiday increases because of exchange rate changes for example. If the surcharges are more than 8% you can cancel without financial penalty.
Under current EU rules you are entitled to compensation of between 125 euros and 600 euros. This depends on the length of the delay if the problem is the fault of the airline. The government has promised that “the UK will not fall below the current standards of protection”
Travel Insurance and Medical Care
Currently travellers in Europe are covered by the European Health Insurance Card. The Government is confident that it will be able to continue with this reciprocal arrangement. If it doesn’t then high quality travel insurance would be wise. Ensure you read the small print of the policy and that is covers repatriation.
Will our current passports still be valid?
They will but the FCO has recently given advice if we should leave with ‘No Deal’.
In that case you would need at least 6 months left on your passport from the date of your arrival abroad.
Other than this change your passport will continue to be valid (even with the EU on the front). It is likely that all current passports will remain valid until expiration once we leave the EU. Once new ones have been designed they would then be replaced using different wording.
Also note that as of September 10, 2018, any extra months you may have on your passport from an early renewal will not count. Previously, you could carry up to 9 months over.
At airports you can continue to use the EU lines in Passport Control.
Will you need a Visa?
You will not need a visa per se. However you are likely to have to buy a pre-travel authorisation. This will cost around £6.50 and be is valid for 3 years.
Overall it is very unlikely that the EU would want to make travel from Britain to Europe difficult. ABTA’s figures show that in 2014 British tourists spent £19.76 in EU countries.