While we do now know that we won’t be leaving the EU today (the 29th March), there is still plenty of uncertainty over when and how Brexit will happen. Whether it happens on the 12th April, 22nd May or some other date in the future, what we are sure of is that when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, there is no doubt that it will have some impact on travel between the UK and EU.
A time has gone on there has been some clarification from the government on some aspects of travel after Brexit.
We wanted to reassure Free Spirit customers about what we now know. Forearmed with knowledge and preparations, these do not need to have a large impact on your trip.
Please note that all of the following information is correct on the date of publish and sourced from the UK government website.
A no-deal scenario will not impact flights to and from the EU. Both the European Commission and the UK government have offered assurances that UK and EU airlines will still be able to operate flights with no changes until at least December 2020.
Also, for direct flights to and from the UK airport security procedures will not change.
Ferries and Cruise Ships
The majority of rules that ferry services and cruises must adhere to are international, meaning that they will not be affected in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
The UK and EU governments are working to ensure that coach and tour holidays can continue as before. However, this is still uncertain. If they do continue unaffected, one thing to bear in mind is the chance of inconvenience at ferry ports, where delays may occur due to changes in customs processing and border controls. Having said that, some of the larger ports continue to make preparations to minimise disruption as much as possible.
Even in the case of no deal, travel on Eurostar and Eurotunnel will continue as normal.
However, the best policy is to check with the operator or travel company prior to travel. They will be able to advise if there is any additional information travellers need to be aware of.
When we travel to Europe after Brexit, some rules will change when crossing the EU border. It may be necessary to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- prove that you have enough money for the duration of your stay
- use a different lane when queuing for border checks.
For short trips to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstien, Norway or Switzerland there should be no changes that require visas for short trips. This applies to trips under 90 days in any 180 day period.
Trips to Ireland will not change regardless of how the UK leaves the EU.
If Brexit does go ahead, it is best to err on the side of caution when it comes to renewing your passport. The UK government recommends you ensure a minimum of 6 months remaining from the date you arrive at your destination. This means that you should renew if:
- It has less than 6 moths left, or
- It is more than 9months and 6 months old.
It is best to plan ahead and give it a month for passport applications to be processed.
This is one area where leaving the European Union with no deal then there will be significant changes. The existing pet passport scheme would no longer be available. As a result a different process will have to be followed, which can take 4 months to complete. Find out more on the government website.
Driving in the EU
If there is a deal in place after Brexit, the same guidelines apply as before – it is sufficient to take your driving licence and V5C (log book).
However, if no deal is in place, additional preparations will have to be made if you intend to drive your car in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Additional documents will be required:
- A ‘green card’, which you will have to apply for from your car insurance company. The time taken to obtain this will vary depending on your provider. However, it is best to allow 1 month for this to arrive.
- A GB sticker for your car, even if this is marked clearly on your licence plate.
- An international Driving Permit (IDP) – these cost £5.50 and you can get them over the counter at participating Post Offices. To apply you will need your full UK driving licence, together with your passport if it is the paper version, and a passport sized photo.
It is worth bearing in mind that there is still much to be decided. However, with assurances from the government of many aspects of travel, this information is as reliable as possible. We will be following developments as they happen and you can too by keeping an eye on the Government’s dedicated page.