Brexit and Travel

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Advice current at: 11 April 2019

Preamble:
This is intended to be a purely factual guide to the travel implications of Brexit. It is an issue with strongly held views, we have used our best endeavours to stick to a non judgemental FAQ for the likely impact of Brexit on travel. In many areas it is not yet sure what the outcome will be, and for these issues we have said just that, rather than going into all the potential scenarios.


Timetable

Brexit: when is it going to happen?
It was originally scheduled for 23:00 hrs UK time on Friday 29 March, however the House of Commons is expected to approve the EU's offer to extend the date until potentially 31 October 2019. However a range of options could now happen, but until 1 June the UK remains a full member of the EU. It remains the UK government's intention for the UK Ė including Gibraltar, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Sovereign Bases on Cyprus, to leave the European Union at some point. At this point there is still a lot of uncertainty on timings and outcomes.

What is the current state of play?
To cut an extremely long story short, the UK Parliament has so far been unable to reach agreement on the terms of the UKís departure. A deal has been agreed between the UK and EU on future relations Ė notably including a transition period of at least 2 years when very little will change Ė however so far the UK government has been unsuccessful in getting any deal through Parliament.

When is Brexit day?
When we refer to Brexit Day, we mean the date of the UK's departure from the European Union, which is currently unknown. Realistically it cannot be before 1 June 2019, it could be 31 October, it could be later than that. The government is targeting 22 May 2019 for getting a deal through the Parliament in Westminster, to allow the 1 June date to become Brexit day, however there is considerable uncertainty at the moment.

When will we know more out how Brexit will happen?
Parliament will be in its Easter Recess until 22 April so we are unlikely to hear anything more until then. Thereafter the government and parliament will need to agree a way forward to resolve Brexit.

Will anything happen to travel before Brexit Day?
No, the UK remains a full member of the EU to at least that date, subject to Parliament approving the EU's offer as anticipated.

What happens to travel on Brexit Day itself, and in the days after?
There remains some uncertainty as the detailed questions below indicate. If a deal is reached similar to the one already drafted, then it would appear almost nothing will change on Brexit day, existing processes and procedures will continue for a transition period of at least 2 years. It now seems likely that the UK will only leave the European Union with a deal, so the 2 year transition after Brexit Day seems inevitable, though strictly speaking No Deal, and therefore no transition is theoretically possible.


Air Travel

Will my flight to the EU after Brexit Day still operate?
Not certain, but probably yes. Check this thread later for updates. The EU has offered a 9 to 12 month continuation Ė with certain conditions and provisos Ė even if there is no deal but there are a large number of unknown factors.

What about flights to the USA which are currently covered by an EU/USA agreement?
In November 2018 it was announced that a new Ďopen skiesí air services arrangement had been agreed with the United States. This will replace the current EU agreement. So these flights will continue regardless of Brexit.

Will UK airlines still have to meet EU associated legislation such as EC261 and GDPR after Brexit?
Yes. Both of those projects are already incorporated under UK legislation and will continue to operate as now. Longer term there could be divergences on some details.

Will airlines have to change their way of working after Brexit?
Not certain. Itís a complex area, involving ownership rules, but check back here later for updates on this one. Several initiatives are currently being resolved here.

What about airline failures such as flybmi Ė is there a risk that other airlines will go to the wall?
Yes. The larger European legacy airlines (BA, Virgin, IB, AF, KLM, Lufthansa etc) have good resources so it would seem unlikely in the short term. But it is known that a number of other airlines are watching their cashflow, most notably Norwegian, though Brexit is by no means the only factor involved here.


Train (Eurostar)

Where will passport checks happen on the Eurostar?
There will be no change on locations, all parties have agreed to continue existing arrangements. At London St. Pancras, French immigration - on behalf of all Schengen countries - checks passports for entry into mainland Europe. For EU/EEA passport holders this is usually done by e-gates. For other nationalities (with some exceptions) you go to the desk of an officer of DCPAF (the French equivalent of the UK Border Force). The UK Border Force may also do a passport check at St Pancras but often don't. At Paris Gare du Nord when returning to the UK there are again e-gates and DCPAF officers for leaving Schengen; then there is always a UK Border Force check after that, also using e-gates for EU27, EEA and some other nationalities. At Bruxelles Midi/Zuid it's quite similar, however note that you can't proceed through passport control until your train is the next service to depart, so don't arrive too early. On arrival into London or Paris (etc) there are no further checks, though there could theoretically be spot ID checks at either end.

Will there be disruption on Eurostar immediately after Brexit?
Not certain, please check back here later. The potential difficulty relates to the use of e-gates and data sharing agreements.


Ferries

Will my ferry between UK and mainland Europe operate?
Almost certainly yes. Many of the operational treaties date back before the UK joined the EU. There may be some issues at the start to do with relatively minor aspects of operations such as data exchange.

Will there be disruption, cancellations or delays immediately after Brexit Day?
Not certain. Check back here later for clarity on that one.


Movement between countries

Will I be able to travel between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit Day?
Almost certainly yes, since that is protected by the Multi Party and British Irish Agreements, generally known as the Good Friday Agreement. But a lot of specific details remains uncertain.

I am a UK passport holder, will I need a visa for Europe?
Almost certainly not. While this was a potential scenario at one point, it is now difficult to see how that would happen.

To enter Schengen as a non-EU/Schengen citizen, your passport needs to be valid for an extra 90 or 180 days. Will this apply to British citizens after Brexit?
Not certain, but if a visa is not necessary then usually it means a UK passport will need at least 180 days' validity on arrival. However this is now an unlikely requirement.

Britain probably has a similar rule for non-EU citizens. Will this be extended to EU citizens after Brexit?
No. The UK government is not making this requirement, however a very short validity period on a passport may raise questions with Border Force officers.

Non-EU citizens have to fill in a landing card upon arrival to the UK. Will EU citizens have to do this after Brexit?
No, EU27 and EEA citizens will not be required to fill in Landing Cards, which are due to be abolished for all travellers in the future.

How long can I stay for in the EU27/EEA as a UK passport holder?
In Ireland there are no restrictions. In Schengen this remains unclear at this stage.

What about travel to Switzerland, Norway and Iceland?
These countries are not in the EU but are in Schengen, so any changes that come about for the EU on Brexit Day can be read over to these 3 countries.

I am a UK passport holder, what passport queues will I need on the mainland? The one for European citizens?
If there is a No Deal outcome, which is now unlikely, then UK citizens would be using the "non EU citizens" line, but check back here for updates. At many Schengen airports UK and Irish citizens constitute the bulk of processed passengers.

Wonít UK citizens need to apply for an Electronic Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to visit the EU?
Not for the time being, and in any case the EUís proposed system wonít be rolled out until at least 2021.

I am EU27 / EEA citizen, will I need a visa for the UK?
No, not for short duration tourism and business visits, the UK government has committed not to introduce restrictions.

I am an EU27 citizen Ė will my passport work in the e-gates after Brexit?
Not certain since it relates to data sharing agreements, but it is likely that you can continue to use e-gates. Check back here later.

What about European ID cards? Can these be used to enter the UK?
Almost certainly yes. The UK government has not indicated any change in this area, however again there could be issues on data sharing.

I'm a USA (Canadian/Australian etc) citizen - what will change for me on Brexit Day?
Very little from what we know. The existing rules for Schengen on the Mainland, for the UK and Ireland will remain in place for non European visitors. The possible exception will be nationals with UK ties outside Europe such as from Bermuda, where there is considerable lack of clarity at the moment.


Money & Health

Will credit and debit cards still work after Brexit?
Yes. There may be changes to exchange rates around this period, however, and there may be delays in processing times.

What about EHIC cards?
Not certain. EHIC cards provide health insurance protection within the EU and EEA. Non EU reciprocal arrangements (e.g. between UK and Australia) will continue. It will be worth reviewing your travel insurance nearer to Brexit day, to ensure you have proper cover. EHIC is not comprehensive insurance in any case.


Car Hire

What about car hire and driving licences?
Not certain. Check back later on this one, driving regulations for Ireland are also unknown at this stage. It may be sensible to apply for an International Driving Permit from your Post Office if a UK licence holder. Spain, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus have a different IDP (IDP1949) to the rest of the EU, Norway and Switzerland (IDP1968). There is a third IDP (IDP1926) but that's not needed in the EU. You may also need your insurer to provide a Green Card to prove your insurance cover, if driving a non-hire vehicle.


Other issues

Will I get a duty free allowance after Brexit Day between UK and Europe?
Not certain, but it seems unlikely.

Will my mobile/cellular telephone face different roaming charges after Brexit?
Not resolved at the moment, but almost certainly the website of your telephone provider will make this clear as we get nearer to Brexit day.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 11:15 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
Sure, but I was thinking of the Eurostar-style pre-clearance. You used to have special platforms at stations like Geneve-Cornavin, Bale-SNCF, Bratislava Petrzalka, etc. I understand that Bale-SNCF has more or less been reinstated, and of course there were the private pre-checks at Copenhagen Airport a couple of years ago.
I'm not sure what Bale-SNCF actually means, but I took the TER train from Basel SBB platforms 30-35 to Mulhouse on Sunday. The entire west side of Basel SBB is under renovation until 2021, so the French platforms are completely separate from the rest of the station, there was a boarded up small area where passengers could be pulled aside, but perhaps because it was Sunday there were zero checks of any sort.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 11:20 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by RG1X View Post
Anything of note in here?

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/air-serv...ent-of-no-deal

It was just published.
Itís been released by the Aviation Minister, and was something we were aware of yesterday. It does move some things forward, but rather crucially it fails to mention that the agreement is still subject to ratification by the European Parliament (other than the hint that itís a draft). That vote is due next Wednesday, of course right at the time the situation may or may not change markedly in the UK Parliament.

Until all that becomes clearer we donít think itís sensible to amend the advice in the wiki, but certainly by the middle of next week something is going to change.
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Old Mar 8, 19, 2:15 am
  #33  
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
I'm not sure what Bale-SNCF actually means, but I took the TER train from Basel SBB platforms 30-35 to Mulhouse on Sunday. The entire west side of Basel SBB is under renovation until 2021, so the French platforms are completely separate from the rest of the station, there was a boarded up small area where passengers could be pulled aside, but perhaps because it was Sunday there were zero checks of any sort.
That's the one. It used to be Bale-SNCF (or Bale-Voyageurs) pre-Schengen, when I was studying in Strasbourg. Everybody was thoroughly checked at that time, and the Swiss border guards were hugely irritating. One week, one would run their fingernail down the edge of the photo page (which was merely laminated on one side at the time) and the next, they'd complain that the photo page laminate was coming away and it could be fake...

Then it swung the other way, and the Basel-Mulhouse service became part of the Basel S-Bahn, and ran as a through service.

Basel Bad also had pre-clearance for Germany.
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Old Mar 8, 19, 2:17 am
  #34  
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It seems like most British passport users at Schengen ports of arrival will be required to pay for and have ETIAS to visit the Schengen zone and will be using the same line as US passport users at the same Schengen ports of entry/exit. Fortunately, the ETIAS part is not happening this year.


Last edited by GUWonder; Mar 8, 19 at 2:27 am
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Old Mar 8, 19, 2:23 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
What does cabotage have to do with flying between the UK and Ireland?
if flying out of one uk airport and into another uk airport via Dublin, at what point do they claim thatís a domestic flight and therefore cabotage provisions apply? Does cabotage even come into the CTA? What about doing the same from ?LBA-AMS-SOU

iíd like to believe that even if cabotage rules are going to be thing in this situation, LCY-DUB-LHR would essentially be treated as a simple return, due to both UK airports being LON. But would that be the case? And what about examples via other ports as above?
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Old Mar 8, 19, 3:38 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by nancypants View Post


if flying out of one uk airport and into another uk airport via Dublin, at what point do they claim that’s a domestic flight and therefore cabotage provisions apply? Does cabotage even come into the CTA? What about doing the same from ?LBA-AMS-SOU

i’d like to believe that even if cabotage rules are going to be thing in this situation, LCY-DUB-LHR would essentially be treated as a simple return, due to both UK airports being LON. But would that be the case? And what about examples via other ports as above?
Perhaps, rather than Cabotage (which refers to domestic transport by a foreign carrier, strictly speaking), it's clearer here to refer to the freedoms of the air, with examples from a UK based airline:

1st: Overflight
2nd: Technical Stop
3rd: International Flight from home country (LHR -> CDG)
4th: International Flight to home country (CDG -> LHR)
5th: International Flight between home country and two foreign countries (LHR <-> DOH <-> BAH)
6th: International Flight to/from home country with stop in home country (LHR <-> PIK <-> JFK) (yeah, old school)
6th+: International Flight between foreign countries with stop in home country (JFK <-> BHX <-> OSL)
7th: International Flight between two foreign countries (ORY <-> JFK)
8th: International Flight to/from home country with stop in foreign country (YVR <-> YYZ <-> LHR)
9th: Domestic Flight in foreign country (JNB <-> CPT)

So, current EU rules allow all EU registered carriers full freedoms within the EU/EEA. So, Norwegian operate flights from London to New York (7th), Ryanair between Rome and Palermo (9th). Some airlines have been protecting themselves by setting up multiple operators (e.g. easyJet now has a UK operator - EZY, a Swiss operator from the early days - EZS, and a new easyJet Europe, based in Vienna - EJU).

Most of the 1st-6th freedoms are (IIRC) covered by existing treaties. However, it's probably significant that airlines like Ryanair and Wizz Air have secured UK AOCs to ensure they can continue operating as they do in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryanair_UK
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizz_Air_UK
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Old Mar 8, 19, 3:52 am
  #37  
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
What does cabotage have to do with flying between the UK and Ireland?
I think the point is that if you fly LHR-DUB-MAN on EI, for instance, this could be construed as cabotage if you have no stop-over in DUB. This is how the US applies its cabotage rules. If you were to fly BOS-YYZ and then YYZ-ORD on AC both on the same day, US authorities would regard that as BOS-ORD via YYZ and therefore cabotage.

I am not aware of a similar approach having been taken this side of the Atlantic.
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Old Mar 8, 19, 4:51 am
  #38  
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
So, current EU rules allow all EU registered carriers full freedoms within the EU/EEA.
In effect, EU policy is to treat the whole of the EU/EEA as a single jurisdiction for aviation purposes. So any EU/EEA airline can fly between any two points within the EU/EEA, including within a single Member State. Although much of EU air transport regulation also applies to Switzerland, this would not fully apply to them, in that EU/EEA airlines have no cabotage rights within Switzerland and vice-versa.

As regards relations with third countries, EU policy is the same and agreements have been concluded with third countries, such as the US, that more or less treat the EU as if it were a single jurisdiction. Therefore any EU airline can fly between any point in the EU and any point in the US. The EU-US agreement was originally concluded between the EU and the US but later extended to Norway and Iceland. Some agreements, , such as the EU-Australia one, included EFTA countries right from the start, including Switzerland and Lichtenstein (although the significance of Lichtenstein's participation might be somewhat limited ).

Where there are no agreement between the third country concerned and the EU, relations are regulated through bilaterals between individual EU Member States and the third country concerned. However, in this case, Member States have been required to renegotiate their bilaterals so as to include an EU recognition clause, whereby the benefit of the agreement is extended to all EU/EFTA airlines operating from the Member State concerned to the third country concerned.
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Old Mar 8, 19, 5:14 am
  #39  
 
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don't get me wrong, i'm not worried. It just made me wonder as I was about to book the flights as not something i've seen discussed yet. Could be because it's irrelevant, could be because no one's thought of it. it's brexit so all bets are off
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Old Mar 12, 19, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by nancypants View Post
iíd like to believe that even if cabotage rules are going to be thing in this situation, LCY-DUB-LHR would essentially be treated as a simple return, due to both UK airports being LON. But would that be the case? And what about examples via other ports as above?
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
I think the point is that if you fly LHR-DUB-MAN on EI, for instance, this could be construed as cabotage if you have no stop-over in DUB. This is how the US applies its cabotage rules. If you were to fly BOS-YYZ and then YYZ-ORD on AC both on the same day, US authorities would regard that as BOS-ORD via YYZ and therefore cabotage.
I think that the idea is that if you actually need to go to the foreign destination (DUB or YYZ), for example because you have to attend a short business meeting there, then it is not cabotage. On the other hand, if you fly LCY-DUB-LHR because this is a "convenient" way to travel from one part of London to another part of London, then it is cabotage, if you use the US definition.

Using the US system, it's the airline that is fined if it is cabotage, but it is the passenger who knows if the passenger has business in the other country or not.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 12:38 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Some person View Post
I think that the idea is that if you actually need to go to the foreign destination (DUB or YYZ), for example because you have to attend a short business meeting there, then it is not cabotage.
This might be the explanation that someone might give to explain the concept of cabotage but I do not believe that this is US practice as it would be utterly unenforceable.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
This might be the explanation that someone might give to explain the concept of cabotage but I do not believe that this is US practice as it would be utterly unenforceable.
indeed I believe the US approach is just to not allow it on foreign airlines unless there is an adequate stopover- now define adequate? I think Korean airlines enforce 96 hours in order to avoid being fined but I donít believe thatís statutory
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Old Mar 17, 19, 6:07 am
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Originally Posted by nancypants View Post
indeed I believe the US approach is just to not allow it on foreign airlines unless there is an adequate stopover- now define adequate? I think Korean airlines enforce 96 hours in order to avoid being fined but I donít believe thatís statutory
I think the issue is that only the passenger has evidence showing if it is cabotage or not, but it's the airlines which are fined for it, so on some "problem routes" like continental USA-Japan/Korea-Guam/Saipan, the airlines disallow short connections unless at least one flight is on a US airline as a precaution.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 7:31 am
  #44  
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Following a series of non-binding votes held in the UK Parliament, followed by the meeting held in Brussels on 21st March which was attended by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and representatives of the EU27 countries, the date on which the UK is scheduled to leave the EU has changed.

The wiki has been updated to reflect the latest position.

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Old Mar 25, 19, 9:12 am
  #45  
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https://www.theguardian.com/politics...no-deal-brexit

British travellers will get a stamp in their passport every time they enter and leave the European Union in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the European commission has confirmed.
The announcement on border checks was revealed days after the British government secured a short extension that shifts the Brexit deadline to 12 April.
In another return to the past, British travellers may be asked by border guards to provide information on the purpose of their visit and means of subsistence during their stay. Luggage would be subject to customs checks.
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