Brexit is closer then we think with the UK leaving the European Union on March 29th, 2019. Now while lots of politics are still in play, there are a few things we can note in regards to the potential impact Brexit may have on travel to and from the UK as well as for British passport holders. There are still lots of things that are yet to be written in stone, however, in this post we look at the probability that something will or will not happen when Brexit arrives.
Nobody has any hard idea of what will happen to the Sterling when the 29th of March arrives. There are many who say that leaving the European Union will push down the sterling even further, while others claim that the British currency is strong and able to withstand the withdrawal from the common European market.
The question you want to ask yourself as a traveler coming from the UK is should you change into Euros now or later? You want the upper hand and to be able to make the most of your hard earned money. If you change now than perhaps you’ll get more EUros in return, should the sterling drop further after the Brexit date? The opposite could be quite true as well.
If your not a finance guru, then you may want to find some solid advice on what you should do. Best bet? 50/50. Change half of your planned vacation money into Euros now and then take a chance to see what happens after Brexit. Otherwise, seek out someone who has some expertise in the area and you trust.
Regardless of what happens after Brexit you will most likely be able to exchange sterling to euros or other currencies. After the referendum vote to leave the EU, the sterling fell drastically and despite there being reports that UK based debit cards were declined, foreign exchange is still a profitable enterprise for many businesses. Hence, regardless of what the market price may be after the Brexit date, you’ll still be able to exchange and use sterling.
The current queue at airports
Until the UK officially leaves the European Union, all UK citizens still use the same EU queues for faster entry. There is currently nothing that is changing or has changed in regards to documentation or entry/leaving procedures.
The future queue at airports
Post-Brexit date (March 29th) is the key date for UK travelers. After this date, UK nationals will no longer be able to utilize the EU/EEA/CH lanes for faster entry (airport) checks and will from this point on going back to years ago, where all nationals with a British passport will need to go through thorough checks like all other third country nationals.
There are a few things to note here. In regards to Ireland, at this point, it seems that nothing will change in regards to border checks. Depending on the airport of travel, the queues may be longer or shorter. Hope for the best.
Either way, as non-EU citizens, all UK passport holders will be subject to the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) which is very similar to the American ESTA scheme. The EU is working hard to impose the new travel regulations by 2020 to reduce migration, security and public health risks. Going through this scheme will be valid for all UK passport holders. British passport holders will need to complete an online form (like the ESTA) which include a variety of questions and a fee to receive a permit upon approval. Just as it is done in the United States, fingerprints, pictures, and data will be verified and stored.
No flights after Brexit
As of today, British airline companies are part of the European “open skies” initiative which allows any EU airline to fly anywhere within the EU. Theoretically, from a political standpoint if there is no agreement then many planes could be grounded from flying into the E.U. However, the European Union has stated that even if there is no deal, airline companies will still be able to fly to and from the UK and E.U. under special measures until agreements can be reached.
It could be that routes are moved, canceled and/or adjusted. This is quite a probability especially for low-cost carriers who fly to a notable number of eastern European countries like Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, etc. Many will be affected by the Brexit changes in regards to airlines routes availability and travel. This could affect prices and travel times.
The last one on our list is mobile phones. The E.U. introduced legislature that cut costs for consumers in regards to mobile phones, calling and traveling within the E.U. However, with the UK leaving these regulations no longer apply. Hence UK based operators can go back to charging their customers whatever they wish, however they wish. Hence, as a result, there is an expectancy across the market that mobile phone tariffs for UK residents and phone owners will go up. This includes roaming fees when traveling throughout Europe.
A few executives of larger firms have committed to saying that tariffs will not change, however, that is to be seen.