Oooo so what’s the tea about this SLOW burn that is Brexit? So, if you didn’t know, the UK leaves the EU at 11pm on the 31st of January 2020. On this day, regardless of whether there’s a deal or not, we will no longer be a part of the European Union and we’ll enter a transition period. Take a look below for some answers on how Brexit will affect travel going forward.
Disclaimer: I’m not into politics too tough but I am interested in how Brexit will affect my ability to travel easily. So, for more detailed info on the other ways Brexit will affect you, please go to the Government Website. Alright? Okay? Let’s get into i!.
So what exactly happens after the 31st of January?
After we (The UK), well not me because I voted remain lol leave the EU on the 31st of January, we will then enter a transition period aka the implementation period. The transition period will last till at least the 31st of December 2020. It could be extended for another two or three years. During this period, everything will pretty much remain the same. So we’ll continue to travel to Europe as normal until, at least, the end of the year.
How will Brexit affect my travel?
At the moment, it pretty much won’t affect your 2020 travel plans, thank Jesus! You won’t need a new passport to travel to the EU. From 2021, we will most likely need a new document (Passport) to travel to Europe but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
Will my passport be valid after Brexit?
You might need to renew your British passport for travel after Brexit if:
- It’s less than 6 months left
- It’s older than 10yrs (even if it has 6 months or more left on the passport)
If your passport is either of the above or both, you need to renew it before travel or you won’t be able to travel to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. So, please leave enough time to check your passports before travel, unless you’re feeling like wasting your money lol.
There’s also a tool on the government’s website to check if your passport is valid for the country you’re visiting. Travel to Ireland won’t be affected. You don’t need to check all these as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?
Short answer, No. You won’t need a visa to travel during and after the transition period mentioned earlier.
The EU initially agreed to visa free travel, as long as the UK reciprocates. The latest legal changes by the European Parliament means, for now, UK Nationals will not need a visa for short stays for example, holidays.
However, the European Commission has said, potentially, from 2021 UK citizens visiting the EU will need to pay €7 for the European Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS). This will be able bought online before travel when the time comes and will last for 3 years for easy entry into EU countries. If you’ve travelled to America, it’s similar to the ESTA scheme UK citizens use for entry there.
I’ve got a holiday after the 31st of January, what’s going to happen to it?
You and me both! But we okay! Airports and flights will continue to operate as normal. So, there are solutions agreed to make sure your holiday goes ahead as planned while the politicians get their s**t together (pardon my French!)
Depending on the length of your trip, you should be able to stay in European countries for short trips up to 90 days. However, you might need a permit to stay longer or to be able to work or study. The best thing to do is check your destination travel advice page for information before you travel. Travel to and working in Ireland won’t be affected by Brexit.
Will Eurostar journeys be affected?
Nope! At the moment, Eurostar rules will follow the same for flights so Brexit will not affect your Eurostar travel in 2020.
At the moment, UK passport control is in France and vice versa, this will likely change once we’re no longer a part of the EU.
Do check online for the latest Eurostar and Eurotunnel travel information before you leave for the station.
What about Brexit affecting mobile roaming/data charges?
At the moment we’re enjoying because we can use our mobile phone allowance in the EU for data and calls the same way we would in the UK. During the transition period we will still be able to enjoy these benefits.
After the transition period, what happens depends on what is agreed between the UK and the EU, which could technically reintroduce those charges.
There isn’t cause for worry yet as most major UK mobile providers (EE, O2, Three, Vodafone and Tesco) have said they have no plans to reintroduce roaming charges regardless of the what’s agreed. Hallelujah!!!!!
Will my EHIC card still be valid after Brexit?
If you have a EHIC, it will still be valid all through the transition period. After We’re still not sure what happens to the EHIC in 2021 and beyond but it will be decided during negotiations that will soon start.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) currently guarantees UK visitors entitlement to the same health care as locals when visiting. So it basically means you can get free healthcare if it’s what locals get in that country even if you have a pre-existing medical condition..
Will Brexit affect driving in Europe?
During the transition period (from January 31st till the end of 2020), driving rules will remain the same as before Brexit. So as long as you have a full UK driving licence, you won’t need an additional licence to drive in the EU.
After the transition period, from 2021, in addition to your UK driving licence, you may also be required to purchase an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in some EU states. Make sure you have the right IDP for the EU country you are travelling in – the GOV.UK website has all the info about that.
How will Brexit affect travel duty free shopping?
We all love some good duty free shipping and as with everything else, the duty free rules will remain in place throughout the transition period.
At the end of the transition period, the UK will decide whether to continue being aligned with EU duty free rules. So I guess we’ll see.
I hope this post has helped answer some of the questions you might have regarding how Brexit will affect travel plans or just travel in general. I’ll be updating this post with new or current information as and when they become available so check back!
Until Next Time, don’t let Brexit get you down!