Updated: Sep 9, 2019
If you are from the UK, or even other parts of the world then you might've heard about 'Brexit'. This is basically the process of Britain leaving the European Union.
Britain have been part of the European Union officially since 1969 and is set to exit the European Union by the end of October of this year (2019). Of course, this won't happen overnight and there is an exected transition period which can go on until the end of 2020.
This isn't 100% certain just yet but once it finally does happen, this could affect travellers worldwide if there is a Brexit deal and especially those that reside in Europe and the UK.
I'll be covering 10 ways that travellers will be affected post-Brexit, so that you can prepare yourselves in the event of a deal or no deal Brexit.
1. The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System)
Although British citizens will not need a visa to travel to Europe, they will however, need t apply for a visa waiver called The ETIAS. This is coming into play whether it's a deal or no deal Brexit.
Cost : 7 euros
Comes into effect : 2021
Who will it affect? : UK and other non-EU countries
Conditions : Whether there is a deal or no deal Brexit
2. Visa-free until end of 2020
In the case of a Brexit deal, then EU citizens and UK nationals will be able to travel as normal with just a passport or identity card, at least until the end of the transition period in 2020.
Once the transition period is over, then UK nationals will be offered visa-free travel for short stays in European countries, as long as the UK can offer the same in return.
Cost : Free
Comes into effect : October 31st- end of 2020
Who will it affect? : UK
Conditions: Brexit deal
3. Visa for long stays
In the case of a no-deal Brexit, the European Commission has said that that visitor will be able to visit the EU without a visa for short stays. However, to stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days, a visa will be required.
Cost : Ambiguous
Comes into effect : After the transition period which ends at the end of 2020.
Who will it affect? : UK (since other non-EU countries already have these travel conditions)
Conditions: No deal Brexit
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK nationals holding British passports will be classified as 'third country nationals'.
This means us British nationals will be treated similarly to other third country nationals like the US and Australia who need to have at least 3 months of remaining time on their passport before it expires.
However, since the UK will be allowed to travel to the EU for up to 90 days visa-free during the transition period, then the UK nationals may need 6 months time on their passport until it expires.
5. European Health Insurance Card - Ehic?
If you travel to Europe often, then you may be familiar with Ehic cards. Owning one of these cards means that you are entitled to having medical treatment while in the EU. These cards are free to apply for and are very useful for travellers since they cover emergency care as well as previously existing medical conditions
However, in the event of a no deal Brexit, these card and benefits attached to owning them will no longer exist.
Tip: If you are a UK national travelling to any EU country after Brexit, then just buy travel insurance to cover health care just in case.
6. Data Roaming charges
Currently, UK nationals are able to enjoy free data roaming when in the EU. However, if there is a no deal Brexit, then this could ease to exist and we must prepare or data roaming charges to occur.
But, if there's a Brexit deal, then governments have said that they would introduce a law to cap these roaming charges at £45.
7. Driving in the EU
If you have a UK license, then in the event of a no deal Brexit, then this alone could be insufficient to be able to drive in the EU and you'll have to get an International driving permit which costs £5.50.
With the exception of Spain, Cyprus and Malta who require very different IDP's, the rest of the EU countries would require this from British nationals to rent and drive a vehicle.
Tip: UK nationals currently living and working in the EU should swap their driving licence's ASAP to a local driving licence. If not, if there's a no deal Brexit then they could need to take a new test altogether.
Whether there is a deal or no-deal Brexit, when travelling to Europe with pets, you must let the vets know at least 4 month in advance to get some guidance on the best thing for your pet.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, this process can become a lot longer. First you will need to contact your vet 4 months in advance, then you will need to get your pet microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. Then, get a blood sample taken 30 days after the vaccination.
Finally, after waiting another 3 months for the all-clear, you'd be able to travel with your pet.
I think that It's very clear to see that a no deal Brexit would make it longer and also more expensive for UK nationals that are planning on travelling to Europe.
Everything is still up in the air with Brexit as negotiations are still taking place as we speak and the UK still have option to change their mind and suspend all Brexit plans at this stage. We just have to wait and see what happens.
Until then, I urge everyone to travel as much as possible in and around Europe before they start making our lives difficult!