Well, this is all speculation at the moment as there are no definitive plans. How will Brexit affect UK travellers is not a question on top of the agenda for our politicians. But, is it in our interests to know how Brexit is set to change for both UK and European residents for work, trade and travel? That quick trip to Paris might be more difficult than it used to be.
According to the Financial Times there are three likely outcomes for Brexit. Britain stays in the European Economic Area, the UK along with the 27 other members of the EU as well as Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland would be part of a club based on primary EU law and treaties.
The Swiss model which means Britain like Switzerland forms part of the European Free Trade Association that is more limited than the EEA. But signing bilateral agreements with the EEA, being a member of the Schengen area of permit free travel around Europe.
Although we don’t know this for sure, there are some speculations which are still in negotiation and officially confirmed changes.
New border checks?
Although the Schengen arrangement means borderless travel for most European Union countries. Depending on the outcome of negotiations, British citizens may face border checks when travelling in Europe. I remember travelling through Europe by train on an interrail holiday with my now husband. We experienced limited checks back then but you might find borders become stricter in the future.
You know those separate queues for EU and OTHER nationalities at airports? Yes, we may be changing queues! Be prepared for a long wait if this happens, unless we are given special treatment… Not something we should expect.
At the moment, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives UK citizens to free or reduced-cost treatment in other EU countries. We have benefitted from this ourselves when in Rome last year. My daughter had to visit the Accident and Emergency when a haemangioma on her leg ruptured and wouldn’t stop bleeding. Luckily we presented our health care cards, had treatment and that was that!
Will this continue? Maybe not. We may have to use our travel insurance for everything whilst we are away if this is not accepted as a term during negotiations. That will probably mean higher premiums and an upfront cost when abroad for travellers. Tougher for travellers with health conditions. We can only wait and see.
A New Blue Passport?
So this is something that has been confirmed, the cover of the UK passport will be returning to blue after the UK leaves the European Union. Why, you ask? Well, Minister Brandon Lewis said ‘Leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world’. And also ‘It will also be one of the most secure travel documents in the world, with a raft of new security measures to protect against fraud and forgery’.
But don’t worry you won’t have to change your passport straight away. There is a phased approach, so once your passport is expired you’ll be issued with a new blue, non-European Union passport. Do you think that will be an improvement?
So how will Brexit affect UK travellers?
Well, we still don’t really know exactly what will happen when Brexit is finally concluded. If it was up to me this wouldn’t have been the outcome of the vote, however, I respect the results of the vote and now we need to make the best of it. I just hope the UK government have this view too! But the answer to the question how will Brexit affect UK travellers? We don’t know. But the answer to the question will Brexit affect UK travellers is resounding yes.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your views so leave a comment below.