Brexit Guidance

Following a referendum vote in June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) is currently in the process of leaving the European Union. The European Union (EU) is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries of which the UK has been a part of the EU for over 40 years.

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU at 11pm UK time on Friday, 29 March 2019. A European court has ruled that the UK can decide to halt the process and stay in the EU at any time up to the deadline. Alternatively the process can be extended if all 28 EU members agree. But at the moment all sides are focusing on that date as being the key one.

As things stand, the UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March, 2019, regardless of whether there is a deal with the EU or not.

In the event the UK leaves the EU in a no deal scenario there are a few issues that may be faced by students and staff alike who are travelling abroad as part of an official #DMUglobal trip.  There are a few things to consider for all involved when travelling abroad in regards to the UK leaving the EU on a no deal basis, especially during the departure date mentioned above.

This page gives information about the likely impacts of Brexit on travel and may be helpful for students travelling overseas with #DMUglobal around post-Brexit period.


Travel disruption

In the event of a no deal Brexit, it is highly likely that they may be significant delays (5 hours plus) at airports due to extra security checks being carried out.

Although DMU’s travel insurance does cover such scenarios currently for delays at airports, however in the event of the UK leaving the EU there is uncertainty regarding the contractual obligations of the insurer to DMU. More specifically, “Force Majeure” clauses are commonly found in contracts and almost always found under insurance contracts.  They can excuse one or all parties from performing their obligations under a contract, if an event occurs that is beyond the reasonable control of the parties and stops the contract from being performed. Examples of these events typically include a flood or fire but it has recently been questioned whether Brexit would trigger a specifically drafted clause of this kind. As with most things concerning Brexit, it is currently uncertain.  It is likely to depend on the terms of the contract and the exact wording of the Force Majeure clause.  It is certainly possible to think of wording and circumstances where Force Majeure could potentially be used in regards to Brexit.

Students need to be aware that when the UK leaves the EU, regardless of a deal, there will be significant delays at airports and in the event that the above force majeure clause is triggered by the insurers then students may unfortunately, be faced with covering the costs of incidentals connected to the delay themselves, as DMU’s insurance will not cover the costs in such a scenario.

Flight compensation

Under EU regulation 261/2004 you are entitled to compensation if, due to the airline’s fault, your flight is delayed by more than three hours or is cancelled. This legislation will not change as a result of Brexit. However, it is important to note that you are unlikely to get compensation if the delay is outside of the airline’s control – this may include disruption as a result of Brexit.

Travel insurance

As mentioned above, all DMU students and staff travelling as a part of an official #DMUglobal trip will be covered by DMU travel insurance, details of this will be confirmed prior to departure.

If you are purchasing your own additional insurance, please bear in mind that not all travel insurers will cover delays, disruption or cancelations that occur as a result of Brexit under a standard insurance policy, if at all. It is important to check details of exactly what is and isn’t covered for any travel insurance policy that you are thinking about purchasing.


Visas

Visa-free travel in the Schengen area for UK nationals will continue during the transition period if a deal is agreed. If a deal is not agreed, subject to confirmation and providing the offer is reciprocated, the EU has proposed that UK nationals will still not require a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days.

Passports

If you have a UK passport, it will stay the same and you can continue to use it until it expires. If you apply for a new passport or a renewal after October 2019, the colour will change to blue and will no longer have reference to the European Union on the front.

Students and staff alike should check the date your passport expires. When travelling to the EU after 29 March 2019, the UK government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival in an EU country.

You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining.

You can renew your passport online or by going to a Post Office with a Check and Send service.

You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.

European Health Insurance Card

The European Health Insurance Card (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 will no longer be valid; there are also limitations to EHIC.

However all students and staff alike who are on an official DMU trip are covered under DMU’s medical travel insurance, even in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Currency

Due to the uncertainty around Brexit, it is likely that the value of the British Pound will fluctuate between now and March. If you are concerned that the value of the Pound will weaken significantly, you can purchase some of your currency in advance, providing you are satisfied with the current rates available. Please note the value of the pound can increase and decrease due to a wider variety of factors.

Using your phone abroad

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.