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Brexit and Travel

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Old Feb 25, 19, 5:11 am
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THE UK HELD A GENERAL ELECTION ON 12th DECEMBER 2019 WHICH RESULTED IN THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY SECURING A WORKABLE MAJORITY, MEANING THE UK WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY LEAVE THE EU ON 31st JANUARY 2020.

WE WILL UPDATE THIS ADVICE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WHEN PARLIAMENTARY TIMETABLES ARE CONFIRMED.


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 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 UKs departure. A deal has been agreed between the UK and EU on future relations notably including a transition period of at least 2 years when very little will change 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 with certain conditions and provisos 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 open skies 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. Its 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 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.

Wont 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 EUs proposed system wont 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 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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Brexit and Travel

Old Feb 25, 19, 5:11 am
  #1  
Moderator: UK and Ireland & Europe, and Carbon Conscious Travel
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Brexit and Travel

So, apparently the UK is leaving the EU. You may have heard such rumours. And we tend to travel a fair bit, and would rather like to know how it's going to affect us.

There are all sorts of articles and speeches about "if we have this kind of Brexit, that might mean that we need x, y or z" or "passport control will take hours" or "Kent will basically be a car park", but do we actually know anything? What if we're travelling around the beginning of April?

This is not a thread for the politics of it all. This is to figure out what we actually know, and how we can deal with it. OMNI/PR has plenty on this topic.

I'll stick up a wikipost, so we can put anything up there (or at least categorise fact vs conjecture).
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Old Feb 25, 19, 5:14 am
  #2  
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I'll go with a starter for 10. Is it worth getting an IDP now for a trip in April, given we have no confirmation of a deal or an extention? No idea how many of them are floating about (it was quite a faff to get one when I went to Japan) but I wouldn't like to end up in a situation where every Post Office until Rutland was out of stock. Or is that overly paranoid and a waste of 5.50?
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Old Feb 25, 19, 5:18 am
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Regardless of the overall outcome there will be no changes to flights on March 29th, the EU and UK have agreed a deal to keep the current aviation arrangements in place for an additional 9 months.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 5:35 am
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My advice would vary depending on your circumstances. If you are a frequent traveller, who uses hire cars a lot in different countries, then absolutely yes get an IDP (making sure you get the right one for each country as reportedly different versions exist).

If average traveller, then hang fire till it becomes more clear.

Key dates would be this week - if the Cooper amendment passes, then an extension becomes significantly more likely - I suspect no deal will not occur, but anything can happen in British politics at the moment.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 6:32 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by jimlad48
My advice would vary depending on your circumstances. If you are a frequent traveller, who uses hire cars a lot in different countries, then absolutely yes get an IDP (making sure you get the right one for each country as reportedly different versions exist).
Wouldn't say I'm a frequent traveller these days, with a very small person at home, and I mostly don't drive when I'm abroad. The only reason I was considering it was because the trip is the first week in April.

And yes, there are multiple types of IDP: the 1949 (valid for one year) and the 1968 (valid for three years). There seems to be little rhyme nor reason to the general punter as to which is accepted where (France takes the 1968, Spain takes the 1949, for example) so you do have to be wary, but the 1968 is more common in Europe. There's also the 1926, which has a wonderful list of countries: Iraq, Somalia, Brazil and Liechtenstein.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 7:26 am
  #6  
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OK, I've put up a first set of Q&As on the wikipost. This is a collaborative effort (I provided the wiki formatting, others the content) and intended to be factual and neutral - and that's how we aim to keep it. It's not a rolling news service, but there will be updates as we go along, and contributions from the community are of course encouraged - please post on the thread to do so or to discuss, and we'll update the wikipost accordingly.

I repeat, though, this is not a political discussion. That's what OMNI/PR is for.

Hope this is useful, and huge thanks to all those who have had a hand in creating it (and will in maintaining it).

stut
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UK & Ireland

Last edited by stut; Feb 25, 19 at 11:30 am
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Old Feb 25, 19, 7:36 am
  #7  
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Oh, and this is now a sticky wiki.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by stut
Wouldn't say I'm a frequent traveller these days, with a very small person at home, and I mostly don't drive when I'm abroad. The only reason I was considering it was because the trip is the first week in April.

And yes, there are multiple types of IDP: the 1949 (valid for one year) and the 1968 (valid for three years). There seems to be little rhyme nor reason to the general punter as to which is accepted where (France takes the 1968, Spain takes the 1949, for example) so you do have to be wary, but the 1968 is more common in Europe. There's also the 1926, which has a wonderful list of countries: Iraq, Somalia, Brazil and Liechtenstein.
Sorry - wasn't trying to be difficult. I think it genuinely varies depending on personal circumstances. A regular traveller who hires cars in the EU, yes I would absolutely endorse getting an IDP.
In your case, it depends on where you are going, or even if Brexit is going to happen. My instinct is if you can delay the trip, then do so as I suspect a no deal will cause all manner of issues that will make it pretty unpleasant to travel to be honest as systems adapt to the new reality. If its a deal then you'll be fine.

If in doubt, go for it. But, I'd also strongly recommend waiting to see what happens this week and whether that kicks the 'no deal' into the Long Grass before deciding what to do.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 11:47 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by ajeleonard
Regardless of the overall outcome there will be no changes to flights on March 29th, the EU and UK have agreed a deal to keep the current aviation arrangements in place for an additional 9 months.
AFAIK, there have been no agreement between the UK and the EU. What there has been is unilateral contingency planning on both sides. On the EU side, as far as UK-EU traffic rights are concerned, the Commission has proposed that traffic rights for UK airlines to the EU should be capped to the frequencies they operated in the last IATA season (so airlines in the summer 2019 IATA season would be capped to frequencies operated in the summer 2018 IATA season and the same mutatis mutandis for the 19/20 winter season). Even that is merely a proposal and has not yet been adopted as legislation.

On the UK side, well, contingency planning for air transport matters falls within the portfolio of Chris Grayling so nothing to worry about with such a safe pair of hands.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 3:03 pm
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Some things not currently covered:

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?

Britain probably has a similar rule for non-EU citizens. Will this be extended to EU citizens after Brexit?

Non-EU citizens have to fill in a landing card upon arrival to the UK. Will EU citizens have to do this after Brexit? Landing cards will apparently be abolished "at some point in the future".
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Old Feb 25, 19, 6:36 pm
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Regardless of whether the UK-EU traffic rights have been agreed, my concern lies with the UK-US traffic rights. As I understand it, the US has an Open Skies agreement with the EU, which currently includes the UK. When/if we leave, then we will need a replacement agreement with the US. Does anyone know if that's in hand?
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Old Feb 26, 19, 2:30 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by jimlad48
Sorry - wasn't trying to be difficult. I think it genuinely varies depending on personal circumstances. A regular traveller who hires cars in the EU, yes I would absolutely endorse getting an IDP.
In your case, it depends on where you are going, or even if Brexit is going to happen. My instinct is if you can delay the trip, then do so as I suspect a no deal will cause all manner of issues that will make it pretty unpleasant to travel to be honest as systems adapt to the new reality. If its a deal then you'll be fine.

If in doubt, go for it. But, I'd also strongly recommend waiting to see what happens this week and whether that kicks the 'no deal' into the Long Grass before deciding what to do.
Oh, I didn't take it as being difficult. It's a leisure trip, not a business one, and we are constrained by all sorts of timing (as well as non-cancellable flights and accommodation) so I will go unless it's utterly impossible. I think for now, I'll watch and see, as there are new developments every day. However, if I happen to pass a Post Office and have 5.50 and a passport photo burning a hole in my pocket, well I might go for it. It's not an insulin stockpile, but it could save some hassle if things go down that route.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 5:02 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo
Regardless of whether the UK-EU traffic rights have been agreed, my concern lies with the UK-US traffic rights. As I understand it, the US has an Open Skies agreement with the EU, which currently includes the UK. When/if we leave, then we will need a replacement agreement with the US. Does anyone know if that's in hand?
You have nothing to worry about there! Unlike much of the travel uncertainty that surrounds Brexit, this one has already been resolved. In November 2018 it was announced that a new open skies air services arrangement had been agreed with the United States and it would replace the current EU agreement once the UK finally Brexits.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 12:31 pm
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We are travelling on Australian passports and will be entering the UK via Eurostar from Paris in early April. In the past this has been very straightforward in terms of travel documentation, but I am wondering whether we are going to end with a Heathrow-like scrum at Border Security when we disembark at St Pancras?

Does anyone know how this will work in practice?
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Old Mar 1, 19, 1:34 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by RealityBites
We are travelling on Australian passports and will be entering the UK via Eurostar from Paris in early April. In the past this has been very straightforward in terms of travel documentation, but I am wondering whether we are going to end with a Heathrow-like scrum at Border Security when we disembark at St Pancras?

Does anyone know how this will work in practice?
In terms of procedure, this answer in the wiki covers it:
I'm a USA (Canadian/Australian etc) citizen - what will change for me on 29 March?

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.
Queue-wise, it’s far too early to tell.
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