The #EURef results are in and the UK has voted to leave the European Union (EU) and begin their Brexit.
Pre-Brexit Brits were able to fluidly go back and forth through the 28 nations that comprised the EU (and rest of the EU into England) but as of last night, this will all begin to change. For those wondering what the changes might be and how they’ll affect them, read on for more information.
Will this affect my summer travel plans?
In short, no. The effects of the Brexit will not begin to make a significant impact on your travel plans, at least until the next two years. “I […] assure Brits living in European countries and European citizens living here that there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances,” explained British Prime Minister David Cameron. The UK’s largest travel association, ABTA, has released a statement assuring travelers that British passports will remain sufficient for travel within the EU during the next two years.
76 percent of holidays taken by Brits in 2014 were to EU countries. (And 63 percent of inbound visitors were from the EU!)
Will it get more expensive to travel to or from the UK?
In short, maybe. Numerous Airline executives including the well-known CEO of Europe’s largest airline Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, have pleaded for Brits to “Remain,” going so far as to award monetary incentives if voters decide to remain. Ryanair aligns with the rise of other budget airlines like easyJet and Germanwings thanks to the 1992 European Open-Skies Treaty which enabled airlines to fly anywhere in the EU sans government approval. This generated an open market, removing the monopoly held by old-money airlines like Lufthansa and British Airways.
Budget airlines have consequently been able to offer fares that can range from €5 to €700 depending on demand and seasons, but thanks to these companies, overall fares have decreased by around 40 percent. Now that the UK has left the EU, the British government will need to negotiate a new aviation contract with the EU. What they decide will remain to be seen. If the current single market is replaced with something else, then prices will undoubtedly rise.
Will it get more expensive for tourists to travel within the UK?
In short, no. Understanding and evaluating global economic markets is very complex. Well-seasoned economists can make even their best evaluations and have them fall flat. The pound, when compared to the euro and USD, has been fluctuating for the last couple of weeks, but many predict that the post-Brexit pound is going to take a pretty intense nosedive. For those visiting the UK, this will mean the exchange rate will be in their favor and generally generate a cheaper vacation. For those from the UK traveling abroad, however, a devalued pound will lead to them paying more for hotels, food, and entertainment.
If I’m from the EU will I need a visa to travel to the UK (and vice versa)?
In short, probably not. The UK and the EU both rely on tourism and forcing people to obtain visas might deter visitors. Though agreements must be made, it is likely that EU and UK vacationers will be able to continue border hopping visa-less. For British travelers, an exciting prospect of Brexit is that the UK will be able to reach novel visa agreements with non-EU countries and enable British travelers to visit certain countries without the need for a visa.
The most popular destinations for British travelers are Spain, France, and Italy.
Will I still be able to use the same cell phone plan in the EU and UK?
In short, probably not. For avid European travelers, this one will definitely strike a heavy nerve. The EU government has been working with mobile phone companies to ban all roaming fees in the EU by June 2017. Brexit will remove the UK from this deal and travelers looking to visit the UK and EU will need to get separate plans for the two areas.
Will I be covered by my insurance if I’m injured while in the UK?
In short, it depends on where you’re from. Brexit is unlikely to affect non-EU travelers who already rely on travel insurance or international coverage by their plan for medical expenses. For EU travelers, however, there will be shifts due to changes in coverage from the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC covers EU-members medical expenses anywhere in the EU, but with the UK’s decision to leave, this means that EHIC coverage is also leaving.
While much remains to be seen as of the outcome for British prosperity and travel, change is sure to come.
Are you pro-Brexit or anti-Brexit? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!