How Brexit Could Affect Your Travel Plans
The Law Of…Brexit's Impact On UK Holidaymakers
In the wake of the UK's decision to leave the European Union, there has been much talk in the news regarding the upcoming Brexit negations. British holidaymakers might worry that there will be restrictions placed on travel around Europe, which have not been in place during recent years.
Ryanair was recently accused of "scaremongering" over potential disruption to flights that Brexit may cause – something they quickly dismissed. Whatever your feelings over how Brexit has been approached by various different companies, it's important to consider the potential issues that you may face when travelling to Europe post Brexit.
James Blower, Assistant Solicitor, takes a closer look.
Tour Operators May Be Understaffed
A hot topic in Brexit news is what the final decision will be for EU workers' rights to work in the UK. If limits are imposed on EU workers then UK tour operators could face difficulties, according to a survey by the European Tour Operators Association.
The survey consisted of 100 members of the Association who have over 35,000 staff. One-third of the survey group is classified as "non-UK EU nationals." 80% of tour operators state that it would be very difficult to function if restrictions caused them to lose these employees.
If this does come to pass, you could find yourself facing difficulties when trying to book with tour operators or end up having a disappointing experience due to their reduced staff.
Will I Need A Visa In Post-Brexit Britain?
There has currently been no definitive answer on whether or not UK citizens will require a specific visa to visit an EU country. Some have speculated that UK citizens may have to go through a process similar to when European citizens visit the USA, where visitors fill out an online form and pay a fee. You could also potentially have to pass health and financial security checks.
Regardless of the visa situation with Brexit, as a UK citizen you could still be delayed upon arriving in European countries. Your UK passport may no longer be accepted in the EU citizen queue, and as such, you may be required to wait for longer to go through passport control.
Will Flights Become More Expensive?
With Britain leaving the EU, new air service arrangements may need to be made. For instance, UK-based airlines like EasyJet enjoy the ability to operate freely all over Europe, and German-based airline Eurowings can do likewise in the UK. This system was made possible by the removal of bilateral restrictions on air service across EU countries.
This arrangement, which up until now has been massively beneficial in reducing air fares between EU countries, could potentially be renegotiated. While it is possible for the current system of low fares to continue, it's important to keep in mind that there's a possibility that airfares could increase once Brexit negotiations have completed.
The Future Of The Pound
The decline in the value of the pound against many other major currencies is one of the most apparent financial impacts of Brexit. The pound achieved a record low the day of the official Brexit vote.
The pound has since suffered another drop, and many financial specialists claim that what will happen to the value of sterling with the upcoming Brexit negotiations is uncertain. You should consider this carefully when booking flights, especially if you purchase them from foreign retailers, where poor conversion rates might result in a more expensive holiday.
It is also possible that fluctuations in the pound could lead to a reduction in holiday costs, but the long term financial implications are uncertain at the moment.
How Will Holiday Protection Be Affected?
Package holiday goers currently receive financial protection under UK law due to the EU directive of 1992. This regulation was brought into place to assist holidaymakers to claim compensation if they ran into unforeseen problems while travelling, such as an unexpected illness.
In terms of health cover, while travelling Europe, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) affords EU citizens access to free public health care, with some limitations. Certain countries hold expectations for things like the purchase of prescription drugs and some countries require payment for certain treatment. Other than that, as an EU citizen carrying an EHIC, you should be afforded the same level of free health care provided to citizens of the EU country that you're travelling to.
The EHIC may not remain in place after Brexit, meaning that you could have to pay more for health care and by extension, insurance policies. Whilst the EHIC may later be replaced by something else, you should remember to always check you are insured.
What Does This Mean For The Claims Process?
Holiday prices may increase post Brexit, but this is no guarantee that standards will improve. You may still suffer from an illness or an accident while abroad.
Our travel law team are specialists in claiming compensation for a mishap that affected your holiday. If you have any questions about making a claim, be sure to contact us by calling the number below, or complete our enquiry form and we will call you back.