Ah, Brexit. Where to start? Well let’s just say I won’t be using this article to demonstrate how wonderfully p*ssed off I am about Brexit. Even though I am. But that can wait for another day. Instead, as most of you reading this blog are from the US and the UK, I figured I’d finally address the question: how will Brexit affect travel in Europe?
Oh, and ICYMI here is an idiot’s guide to Brexit. Because it is kind of confusing for those who haven’t been living and breathing the UK’s exit from the EU for the past year.
Also, as I mentioned, the majority of you guys reading this are from the US or the UK. So I’ve split this guide on how will Brexit affect travel in Europe into two parts. Just click the links to read the section that is relevant to you:
And finally, it should be noted that the majority of these affects aren’t 100% definite. Truth be told, even leading figures in the travel industry can’t be 100% sure of what will happen after March 2019. Still, they have their hypotheses and it’s the most credible likelihoods that I’ve included in this article.
How Will Brexit Affect Travel in Europe for UK Travellers?
Increased Roaming Fees
No, I’m not kidding. After years of discussions the European Union has finally created a regulation that will abolish roaming fees (which includes calls, text, and data fees) for all those travelling between European Union states. At the moment, that includes UK travellers.
However, after March 2019 (when Brexit negotiations should have officially ended and the EU will commence saying “you can’t sit with us” to the UK government), the UK could be thrown out of the agreement. Which means we get our old roaming fees back. And they might be even higher. Which sucks.
Possible Flight Disruption
As a current member of the European Union, the UK is also a member of the European Commission’s Single European Sky agreement. Much of the agreement is about member states working together to reduce delays, service costs and increase safety and environmentally sustainable standards.
One the UK is officially divorced from the EU, then it’s likely that it will also be thrown out of this agreement. But leading aviation bosses don’t believe that governments will come to an agreement on policies regarding air travel within the two year time period between now and March 2019.
If they’re right, then there is likely to be a whole lot of flight disruption after March 2019 as new regulations for the UK are put in place.
An End to Visa Free Travel Between The UK and Europe
For those of you Brits reading this who, like me, love the fact that you can hop on a flight or an international bus at last minute and be in a different European country in a few hours, an end to visa free travel will be one of our greatest losses.
But the good news is that the UK’s outbound travel industry is desperately trying to fight this battle for us. Sure, they have an economic agenda (who needs as many travel agencies if less of us are travelling abroad?), but it’s one that I believe is beneficial. Especially for our generation and those that come after us.
One example is this manifesto from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). It is a direct request from the chief executive Mark Tanzer to our government to address freedom of outbound travel as a priority during Brexit negotiations. Finger’s crossed!!
How Will Brexit Affect Travel in Europe for US Travellers?
Cheaper Travel To The UK
Both the Independent and the Guardian have reported that the UK has become a more affordable travel destination for overseas travellers. Much of this has to do with the decrease in the value of the pound, which means that US travellers can currently save a lot of money on their UK holidays.
However, these figures represent what’s going on now. As for the future, it’s pretty hard to tell I’m afraid!
Fewer Flight Routes Across Europe
Let’s face it, most of you guys reading this from the US don’t just fly in and out of one country. You want to see all of Europe. And I don’t blame you. If you haven’t guessed from my ongoing travels on the continent, I love it here.
However getting around might not be as easy or as cheap as it is now. Much of this has to do with the fact that budget airlines based in the UK may need to relocate to Europe to overcome a regulation that demands that all their flights must either begin or end in the UK. Which means that Ryan Air’s flight route map might be severely diminished by March 2019.
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As I mentioned in the intro, many of the answers to the question ‘How will Brexit affect travel in Europe?’ are still uncertain. However, I hope this article can help your future travel planning just a little.