This week and next week I thought it was about time to address the subject of Brexit and how it could effect us ordinary folk, including your holidays and in my case, a destination wedding which for better or worse, is happening!
After the vote to leave, we have seen a steep drop in the value of our British Pound, which of course makes holiday prices more costly to us. This will last throughout and after the process for at least a short-medium period of time. It’s value has slightly recovered, to $1.24/1.16 euros, but that’s still down from around $1.47/1.30 euros on the day before the referendum.
Remember – we still remain a member of the EU until March 29th 2019 so any changes might take a long time to come in to effect. Also, of course, there is nothing nothing to prevent new arrangements being implemented to cover some of them even when we leave – assuming the government of the day is able to make them. We will just have to wait and see.
Travel and Holidays
Airports – Although it is unlikely we will need visas to travel, we still need to pass through passport control, which also means we will be joining the ‘Non EU citizen’ lane, this could add to longer waits at airports. In the longer term, if Brexit leads to a more radical disintegration of the Union (and it may) then the Schengen arrangement, under which controls for those crossing borders between most of the member states have been removed, this will presumably end and border checks might be re-introduced. It may take a few years, but is certainly a possibility.
Flight Prices – The rise of the budget airlines and cheap flights was thanks to the EU air service agreement, allowing more route access to EU countries, making the prices very competitive. Now we are leaving the EU, airlines such as Easyjet will have to wait for agreements to be made if we want to fly freely in to EU countries. Irish airlines such as Ryanair or German airlines like Eurowings on the other hand, are to continue to fly in and out the UK without restrictions. Whether the wide choice of routes and historically low fares we now enjoy will continue, will depend on the results of those negotiations.
Your EU health card – This little blue plastic card allows us free or reduced cost health treatments while in the EU. It is not as good as travel insurance, but they help to clear excess charges if you need to claim. We could possibly see a future agreement to give a similar card that allows remaining EU countries the same benefits of our NHS while visiting us.
Duty Free – Now that we are leaving the EU, presumably we will revert to the same arrangements which apply to all other countries. WE will have a duty free allowance of 200 cigarettes, 16 litres of beer and 4 litres of wine and above that we will pay £2.00 for each bottle we bring home.
I hope this has started to clear some of the fog surrounding Brexit. Next time I will cover destination weddings, roaming charges on your phone and working and living in the EU.