Should Holidaymakers Worry about the Brexit?


It's likely that in some form or another you're familiar with the discussion surrounding Brexit; the term given to the debate surrounding our potentially imminent exit from the European Union that hinges on a referendum due to be held on the 23rd June.

Man Ponders Brexit Debate

There's a lot of discussion over how much of a financial impact leaving the EU will have on Britain, however one question that we believe many frequent holidaymakers want to know the answer to is will leaving the European Union affect your holidays on the continent?

Brexit Recap

If you aren't entirely sure what all of the excitement surrounding our exit from the European Union means, let us bring you up to speed:

  • The European Community was established in 1967
  • Britain became a member in 1973
  • The European Union (EU) was officially founded in 1993
  • In this time changes occurred to make trade and movement within Europe far easier

Recently many individuals and political parties have voiced concerns that we should no longer be a part of the EU with a few core arguments as to why we should leave, including some of the following hot topics:

There are those who feel that we would be financially worse off if we left as reported in a recent Guardian article, but more importantly how we travel to Europe may change if we decide to leave the EU, including the potential loss of a number of benefits.

EU Healthcare Might Change

If you've travelled to an EU nation in recent years and became ill or had an accident that required medical attention you may have used your EHIC. The EHIC, which stands for European Health Insurance Card, is free to all British citizens and allows you the same level of treatment that is afforded to the residents of that EU country in state hospitals. This applies in all of the other 27 EU countries.

Most of us are aware that a holiday accident or illness can ruin a holiday and that travel insurance is vital for any trip abroad. If the UK does leave the EU, we may start to see our travel insurance premiums begin to rise.

Possible Changes to Air Travel Benefits

One of the other benefits we're afforded as a member of the European Union is certain rights in the event that a flight to or from an EU destination is delayed or cancelled. You might be aware of the rules that are in place should a flight be delayed or cancelled wherein your airline has to provide you with amenities that can include a meal, alternative transport options and accommodation. These rights are also what allow you to make a claim for compensation and expenses.

These rights prevent airlines from potentially ruining the plans of British holidaymakers and they come from a ruling that originates in the EU. Exiting the EU may mean that we lose some of these rights, potentially leading to a return to a time when airlines were able to get away with far more than they are now.

How Brexit may Financially Impact Breaks in the EU

Something that British tourists need to consider is how the Brexit will affect the cost of flights to European destinations. Currently UK airlines benefit from an agreement that secures the cost of landing fees, but there's no guarantee that these will remain in the event that we leave the EU. This means that UK airlines may experience an increase in the cost of landing fees which will undoubtedly be passed onto us as we see air travel prices increase.

The Cost of a Phone Call Home may Increase

Excessive roaming charges in the EU have only been recently been abolished and you may not have benefited from these new regulations yet. This move strengthens the ideal of the EU being a place where members can travel easily and prevents mobile carriers from forcing astronomical roaming charges on British tourists. There's no guarantee that mobile phone carriers won't return to charging us excessive amounts for using our mobile phones on holiday if we exit the EU.

The Brexit Impact on Our Currency

Exiting the EU may cause the value of the sterling to change drastically; it could also mean a return to the days when we had to choose the ideal moment to purchase Euros to make sure we got the best deal on our holiday spending money.

Should you Be Concerned about the Brexit?

There's no clear answer as to whether exiting the EU is a good or bad thing and coming to your own conclusion requires making an informed decision. While it's not our role to sway your opinion, when it comes to vote on the Brexit, it's important to consider that by leaving the EU there will be some impact on the way that we visit Europe on holiday.

Our Litigations Claims Manager Paul Stevens has the following to say on the matter:

"Laws that predate the EU legislation are likely to still be in effect whether we stay in the EU or not, and in the event that we do leave the European Union some of our rights will hinge on what EU regulations we decide to keep.

Regardless of the outcome our team at Simpson Millar will be here to help you to make a claim for a holiday accident or illness."

Holiday Accidents and Illness in the EU

If you've suffered an accident or illness on holiday in Europe then under current EU regulations you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. If you believe that you have a claim or if you want to find out more about your rights when travelling in the EU; please don't hesitate to contact our holiday claims team today for free advice.

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