Unless you were living under a rock, you should all know by now that yesterday, 24th June, the UK voted to leave the European Union.
This isn’t a political blog, so we aren’t going to go into the in’s and out’s of what this means for the country (nobody really knows anyway!) although there are a lot of questions/uncertainty coming up on social media on how this is going to affect travel. This is how we understand things to be and of course these are subject to change.
1 – Will I need a new passport?
You will have noticed (unless it’s rubbed off like mine!) that the top line on the front of your British passport says “European Union”, as well as references within the passport itself.
Because the UK will remain a member of the EU for as long as it takes to negotiate the exit deal, your British passport will remain valid over that day comes – so there is no need to worry if you are travelling this summer, although you wont be getting as good of an exchange rate right now..
British Passport design has changed a few times in recent years, so it’s likely that a new design will be issued removing reference to the EU. It’s likely the ‘old’ passports will just be phased out over time as and when they are renewed, so if you have a bit of time left on yours, or just renewed, don’t worry about it.
2 – Will Brits need Visa’s to travel to the EU?
Again, while the UK remains part of the EU you will still be able to travel freely in the EU so no immediate concerns to worry about.
It is possible (we hope very likely) that the UK will accept the continuation of free movement in order to retain preferential access to the single market, in which case you will continue to be able to travel freely in the EU.
There are a lot of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) that British citizens can visit for up to 90 days without needing a visa and it is possible that such arrangements could be negotiated with European countries. Destinations we have visited recently are all working examples of this and include the USA (Need an ESTA), Morocco, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Africa….the list goes on.
ALTHOUGH – if the UK plays the awkward card and starts to impose Visa’s on EU countries, it’s likely we will get the same treatment in return. That could be a tourist deterrent though, so we don’t expect that to be the case.
3 – Are immigration lines going to take a lot longer?
Regardless of what is negotiated, the UK borders shouldn’t get any busier than they are today. If anything, they will be shorter as they will be for British Passport holders only.
As for EU country borders, it’s entirely dependant on what is negotiated. There are opportunities for the government to negotiate similar benefits as we receive today due to being part of the EU. will the EU or it’s member states want to allow us straight through access? That may depend on whether we are allowing their citizens the same opportunity.
4 – Is this the end of cheap flights?
I think this is a key question as it affects everyone. EVERYONE, even me when traveling on business, wants and generally goes for a cost effective option.
We have detailed the answer in this dedicated post as it goes into detail.
5 – What happens with airport Duty Free shopping limits?
This doesnt affect me much, as i dont tend to buy a great deal in Duty Free, and not being a smoker helps as i dont care about cheap cigarettes.
But, those cheaper cigarettes, booze and fragrances you score while on your travels may not be so cheap once we leave the EU? Voters might have just ruined it as it’s believed limitations will be imposed.
You will not be able to legally buy more than 200 cigarettes and an overall limit of £390 on ‘other goods’ will be introduced.
What do you think?
We would love to hear your thoughts on how this may affect your travel plans for both business and pleasure? This isnt gospel and we will be learing a lot in the next few months, but if there is anything you are particularly curios or worried about, then get in touch in the comments below of Twitter – @Trip_Hacker