Published on July 29, 2019 | by Andrea Guerriero0
How Will Brexit Impact On Travellers?
Whether you expected it or not three years ago the decision to leave Europe became real. After years of failed negotiations, extensions and the prospect of no deal, who knows if we will really be leaving on October 31st 2019. It seems like everyone has an opinion on how this will impact on the economy but just how will Brexit impact on travellers? Here is a guide from My Baggage on how it could affect you.
Freedom of Movement
Freedom of Movement is one of the fundamental principles of the EU. We’ve long forgotten about what it was like to get a visa to visit Europe, but this is now a very real possibility. However, short term there is no need to worry just yet. Not much will change until we leave so your summer 2019 holiday to Croatia will go off without a glitch. You will still have the ability to travel freely in the EU.
It is inevitable that in the long-term you may need to get a visa in order to visit Europe. But this will all depend on the withdrawal agreement and whatever deal is worked out. Of course, that is, if we leave with a deal. If we leave with a no deal scenario, there is no plan set in stone regarding visas and it will be up to the EU. However, when we think about how many UK tourists visit Europe and how much this contributes to the economy, asking UK citizens to acquire a visa might put tourists off holidaying in the EU. So it’s hopeful that visas will not be requirement or a necessary document for travel.
The pound has drastically dropped in value and exchange rates for the US dollar are at a 31 year low. This has benefits though for companies who export to the EU as it will make goods and services much cheaper, however for travellers it will mean holidays will be much more expensive.
Disel and petrol will go up in price as the rate for oil is priced in US dollars. This means fuel for aeroplanes will cost much more and your flights won’t be as cheap as they used to be. This will also of course increase the cost of petrol and disel for your cars so even if you fancy a staycation you’ll be losing out at the pump.
In 1994, the EU adopted an ‘open skies,’ policy meaning that EU airlines could fly anywhere in the EU. This allowed budget airlines to startup and competitive prices which allowed consumer to enjoy a 40% reduction in fares. There still is no guarantee that after we leave the EU that the UK will still remain a part of this policy or that EU planes will able to fly into these destinations without adding extra costs.
Do you remember the days when you got off the plane you’d get a nasty notification with an extra charge as you’d forgotten to turn off your data? Roaming charges used to charge you to use your phone in the EU, they could be incredibly costly and would often hit business travellers and those living near borders the hardest. Thanks to the EU, these charges were abolished, and EU countries no longer have to pay a fee to use data in another EU country. But of course, when we leave the EU, will this stay the same? There is a chance that these charges could come back to UK citizens going to Europe. These roaming fees are not allocated by the UK but by the EU so it all depends on what is negotiated in the leaving deal. If we leave without a deal, there isn’t much the UK can do to influence the outcome of roaming charges.
Reciprocal Medical Cover
In EU countries you can obtain an EU health insurance card that entitles you to treatment in other European countries if you become unwell. However, when the UK exits the EU, there is no guarantee this will still be offered to UK citizens. This will all depend on the deal negotiated. However it will have a real impact on UK citizens travelling to the EU as it means you will need to get health insurance.
Poorer holiday protections
In 1992 an EU directive made financial protection for package holidays available, so that in the situation where you get stranded or your travel agents collapses you won’t lose out financially. In 2018 a newer version was implemented offering further benefits and protections. Whether or not these will apply to UK consumers will all depend on the outcome of the brexit deal.
What about beach pollution?
The EU have pushed for higher standards when it comes to our beaches. In the last 25 years the UK has dramatically reduced how many beaches are polluted by raw sewage. The EU have put pressure on countries to reach high standards and actively call out countries that do not. If we leave the EU will the UK push to maintain these standards that have been set or will the quality fall when they’re not being pressured into it?
Back to the days of duty free?
Do you remember the times of duty free? In 1999 we stopped following this process when visiting EU countries and could instead bring home as much duty paid items from EU countries as we pleased. However, after Brexit, we may return back to having a duty-free allowance of 200 cigarettes, 4L of wine and 16L of beer.