For those of us that live for our next excursion abroad, the Brexit vote has brought an element or two of doubt into play. The question is, how far-reaching will the impact actually be?
It’s starting to feel as though Brexit will never actually happen, don’t you think? The vote was all the way back in 2016 and despite almost two years passing, here we are, still waiting to find out exactly what deals we can look forward to and how said deals will impact on us, financially. Holidaymakers, in particular, are keen to discover how the vote to leave the EU is going to affect their favourite pastime, which is why we’ve identified 10 potential implications.
We are most likely looking at another two years of negotiations with the EU, but while the politicians tackle that side of things, you might like to get prepared for the following:
1. Airfare price hikes.
There’s no escaping the fact that simple, no-frills airlines have enjoyed some serious success in recent years and that’s in part, because of the EU. Having lifted certain old-fashioned air service agreements, competitive pricing could be brought into effect for routes travelling between EU countries and now that the UK is leaving, that could spell an end to ultra cheap tariffs. British-owned airlines, such as easyJet, will be keen to see alternative agreements and arrangements being made to ensure that value airfares can continue to tempt holidaymakers to get away from it all. Let’s just hope that negotiations are successful!
2. Bigger delays at customs.
While it doesn’t look as though UK travellers will have to apply for a visa to enter EU countries, passport control will still be in effect and we’ll have to start queuing in the ‘non-EU’ line, which will translate into a far longer wait. It seems likely that border checks could also become something of a norm, so there will be a definitely less ‘free’ feeling to exploring Europe.
3. Concerns about healthcare.
You’d have to be a fool to not travel with a European Health Insurance Card, given that they are free and give UK citizens access to complimentary or reduced healthcare in fellow EU countries, but once Brexit hits, we might have to say goodbye to this undeniable perk. Negotiations to allow UK travellers a little peace of mind will need to be opened, but experts predict that our government will need to extend the free healthcare courtesy in return and there’s no guarantee that this will happen.
4. A weaker Pound that translates into less spending money.
This has actually already proved to be t he case, as the Pound plummeted immediately after the vote to leave was announced. Experts predicted that this would be the case, but what they couldn’t predict was that things might get steadily better. In recent weeks, the Pound has been enjoyed a surge that has brought it back to pre-referendum levels, but for long-term ramifications, we need to just wait and see what happens.
5. Waving goodbye to flight compensation.
The EU has a strict mandate that delayed flights should be compensated and the UK has very much taken this onboard, resulting in staggering levels of financial reward for travellers that are left waiting. Once the UK is free of EU governance, it’s likely that domestic airlines will seek to have levels of compensation reduced and the process of applying for compensation made exponentially more complicated. It’s a blow to people that love to travel, for sure, but naysayers that have predicted a loss of food allowances and accommodation provision are probably over-egging the pudding slightly, for dramatic effect.
6. Expensive mobile roaming charges.
Who doesn’t remember the dark days of forgetting that your data roaming function was still switched on, when entering a foreign country? You’d enjoy a holiday and come home to a whopping bill that was near impossible to pay , which in the end, resulted in so much public outcry that EU roaming charges were, eventually, abolished. When the UK leaves, every national travelling in Europe could be at risk of expensive roaming bills, particularly now that so many of us are dependent on our phone as navigational tools.
7. Bad beaches at home.
With increased costs looking more than likely for UK travellers, a higher proportion of in-country adventures might be on the cards, but there’s real potential for disappointment. EU directives were put in place to ensure that beach cleanliness was a serious issue and in the last few years, British coastlines have benefitted from a lot of extra attention and cleanup. Now that we’re set to leave the EU, there will far less pressure to continue tackling environmental issues, such as beach pollution, which might mean that holidaymakers will try a domestic break once and then never again. A drop in tourism now could spell disaster!
8. Potentially lacking holiday cover.
EU holiday cover is in place to make sure that any national from a member country can’t lose money or be physically stranded in a foreign location, if a tour company should fall into administration or fold. The peace of mind that cover such as this offers is priceless and guarantees anybody travelling abroad that they will be able to get home at no extra cost to themselves. It seems extremely unlikely that the UK government would be willing to put citizens at risk, so negotiations will no doubt need to include this aspect, but it seems slightly unreasonable to hold out hope that the UK will be extended the same benefits as EU countries, when the revised Package Travel Directive comes into effect.
9. No more working holidays?
If you’ve ever dreamt of backpacking around Europe and making ends meet by working a ski season or taking casual bar jobs, the bubble is about to burst. The ability to take a glib and unstructured approach to working while on holiday was a perk that came with being part of an EU nation, but when Brexit is complete, there will no doubt be far more paperwork to complete. We can’t get too indignant however, as the UK government has already made it clear that those looking to work over here will be treated t similar restrictions.
10. Duty free restrictions might come back.
By being part of the EU, UK travellers have been able to bring home unlimited amount of duty-paid goods from fellow nations. You’ll have heard of ‘booze cruises’ no doubt, which describe the process of driving over to France, grabbing huge amounts of wine and profiting on the far lower duty rates? Well this is probably going to come to an end.
Being part of the EU, we were enjoying paying just £0.23p per 750ml of wine, which is a huge bonus when you think that the same amount incurs a £2.08 duty domestically, but be prepared, as the days of restrictions might be due to return when we exit. What does this mean? Well, instead of endless hoards of goodies, travellers will only be able to bring back 200 cigarettes, 16 litres of beer and four litres of wine. It’s still a huge amount, but compared to totally unlimited supplies? This could be a bitter pill to swallow.
It might seem all doom and gloom for British holidaymakers, but perhaps the downsides of leaving the UK could actually reinvigorate the UK tourism industry or make travellers a little more savvy when it comes to getting more for their holiday money. After all, there has to be a silver lining, right?