Come 30th March 2019 and everything changes when it comes to travel, whether or not the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.
Here below we assess what we know - and what we don’t know.
First and foremost, in an event of a no-deal scenario, you will need a minimum of six months left on your UK passport in order to visit much of Europe.
To help clarify matters, the government has launched a new tool to help British travellers find out if their passport will be valid after 29th March. The “check a passport” service asks you to put in details such as travel destination, date of travel, date of birth, date the passport was issued and date it expires and it will then confirm whether or not your passport will be valid.
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 however 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 system.
Although there are currently no formal arrangements by which planes will be able to fly between the UK and the EU after 29th March, even if we are in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU. The UK government has offered similar assurances for EU airlines.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) currently 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. However, even EHICs have their limitations and the advice has always been to take out appropriate travel insurance.
As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. This is likely to change in a no-deal scenario. UK travellers looking to drive in the EU on or after 29th March may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit which costs £5.50 and is available from the AA, the RAC or the Post Office.
Motor insurance will no longer automatically extend to the EU. Insurers will provide on request a “Green Card”, for which an extra charge will be made.
From 30th March, the law banning mobile phone firms from charging extra for calls and data in Europe will cease. However, some UK operators have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. Check with your provider before you travel.
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