Updated business travel advice in the case of a no deal Brexit
There is uncertainty around when the UK is due to leave the European Union (EU) and the political process is still ongoing, so the potential impacts are difficult to predict with any certainty. However, if you are a UK passport holder and due to travel to an EU destination, there are some specific things for you to consider to reduce the possible impact that Brexit may have on your travel plans, particularly in the event of a no deal outcome.
Airlines will be able to continue flights between UK and EU destinations until at least October 2020 regardless of what happens with Brexit over the next few months.
This “unilateral contingency” legislation to allow flights to operate had originally been due to end in March 2020 but this has now been extended for a further six months. The extension of air traffic rights provides certainty to the airline industry and wider business.
Please check the date your passport expires! The UK Government has released a website to check the validity of your passport for travel to Europe. You always need a valid passport to travel and enter those countries you intend to visit. As we covered in a previous post, the rules about passport validity may change as a result of a no deal Brexit.
When travelling to the EU after 31 October 2019, the UK government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival to an EU country but the six months remaining cannot include extra months that may have been added to your passport’s expiry date when you last renewed.
If you need to renew your passport, you may wish to do it sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans. For full details on renewing your passport please visit: http://www.gov.uk/renew-adult-passport/renew
In the event of a no deal outcome it is likely that UK travellers looking to drive in the EU on or after 31 October 2019 will need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP). See what the Government has to say here and here.
This involves completing a form through the Post Office with a passport photo, costing £5.50. Please check carefully which permit is required for each country you intend to drive within, as you may need more than one permit to comply with the law. More information is available here.
Also, because travellers no longer benefit from the EU’s automatic third-party motor insurance cover, you will need a Green Card, which insurance firms currently issue free of charge.
Do not rely solely on your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for health care in Europe! EHIC allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK registered EHICs may be affected. We always advise customers to hold appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC or not.
You shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. The European Commission announced in November 2018 that, even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers can still visit the EU without a visa, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK. The European Commission has said that from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee (of around 7 Euros) for this visa exemption. This is part of a new electronic travel authorisation system applying to all third country visitors to the EU, similar to the US ESTA regime.
Data Roaming and Call Charges
Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK. If the UK leaves without a deal these rules will no longer apply – however, some UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. Before you travel, check with your mobile phone provider about the costs of using your phone in the EU.
We would advise you to consider giving yourself extra travelling time in the event of any disruption caused by the practicalities of a no-deal outcome, for example when travelling through passport control at the airport. Some useful Government information is available here.
Your Travel Counsellor is always on hand if you have any questions or concerns on this or any other aspect of your company's business travel. If you don't yet have a Travel Counsellor, please get in touch via the form below.
Give us a call on +44 (0) 161 464 5350 or fill in the form below and let us call you back.