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 on Friday 29 March. A draft withdrawal agreement, which outlines the terms of the UK leaving and the future relationship with the EU, was agreed in principle on 25 November 2018.

The withdrawal agreement indicates that there will be a transition period, this means that if the deal is agreed, the current relationships with the EU would continue at least until the end of 2020. However, the agreement will need to be passed through Parliament for the deal to be approved and formally agreed. This means there is still a considerable amount of complexity and uncertainty around a range of issues. Even if the deal is agreed, negotiations around a variety of topics are likely to continue throughout the transition period.

This page gives information about the likely impacts of Brexit on travel and may be helpful if you are participating in a #DMUglobal trip around post-Brexit period.

Travel disruption

If there is no agreement of a deal to leave the EU, there is likely to be temporary disruption of travel (flights, Eurostar and coaches) in the days and weeks after Brexit, and this could even mean some cancelations. Disruptions may be minimal if a withdrawal agreement is reached as it is likely that there will no immediate change.

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

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.

Currently, you can travel to EU countries right up until your passport expires. However, if there is no deal agreed, you will not be able to travel if your passport is older than nine years and six months. We recommend that you ensure your passport is valid for at least six months prior to travel.

European Health Insurance Card

If you are a UK resident you are usually eligible to apply for a free European Health Insurance Card. This gives you the same access as locals to healthcare at state-run hospitals and GP, often for free or at reduced costs. This will continue until at least 29 March 2019 (and the transition period), but it is unclear at this stage if it will remain should there be no deal agreed. You can find more details about the EHIC here.

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

As per EU rules, you can use your phone in most of Europe with no additional charges until 29 March, and if a deal is agreed this is likely to continue during the transition period. However, if no deal is agreed, mobile phone operators will make a decision on roaming charges on a commercial basis. The only exception is with the provider Three. They will not be reintroducing roaming charges in the event of no deal. Other providers such as EE, O2 and Vodafone will hope to preserve free-to-roam.