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*** UPDATED APRIL 15 2019

With the proposed date for Brexit now fast approaching, we’ve been looking at the potential impact that Britain leaving the EU may have on travel.

If an agreement is reached and Brexit goes ahead, the UK will enter a two-year transition. There will of course be many things that will need to be considered that effect international travel, including:

Laws

As the UK would be classified as a third party country, many EU laws would need to be reinterpreted which could take some time to legalise.

Flights

The EU has confirmed that UK to EU and EU to UK flights will continue, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, there have been questions concerning British carriers such as BA flying EU to EU, and whether restrictions may be applied in this scenario. Each carrier will have its own intricacies, and Business Travel Direct will be closely monitoring the effect on flights.

Passports

In the event of a deal, passports would continue in the current manner while we move to the transitional arrangements. Under proposed new regulations, which will come into effect in 2021, passengers would require A MINIMUM of 6 months to travel within Europe, excluding any time extension they may have been given due to early renewal.

Visas

The European Parliament has now approved a law granting Britons the right to travel to the European Union without a visa after Brexit. UK citizens will be able to stay in the EU visa-free for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This post-Brexit visa waiver will only be granted if the UK implements similar reciprocal measures for EU citizens.

From 2021 UK travellers will need to apply for an ETIAS, this is very similar to the USA ESTA scheme. Like the US scheme, UK citizens will apply for this using an online portal and will need pre-approval prior to departure. It is envisaged that the ETIAS will last for three years and cost €7.

Health & Travel insurance

Although most travellers have travel insurance, anyone who currently relies on the EHIC card would no longer be covered under this scheme.

Driving licences

Driving licences are being decided on by each individual member state. Some EU countries will require an international driver’s licence, some will not. As yet there is little clarity around which countries are opting for which approach.

Airports

There is likely to be confusion at airports dependent on how each individual EU countries approaches UK nationals, so additional time should be built into schedules during any transition period until the situation becomes clearer.

Summary

It’s clear that travel will be effected by the Brexit process. Business Travel Direct will continue to monitor the potential impacts and update our clients as appropriate.