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Essential Travel Safety Tips For Travelling Post-Brexit

by Ben Barton / June 24, 2019

Brexit has become the dominant theme in UK politics since the 2016 referendum, and with each passing month, the landscape of what Britain's exit from the European Union will look like seems to shift dramatically. 

However, whether it's a deal or no-deal, there are some key areas that you need to be aware of to help ensure that you are able to travel safely post-Brexit. Here are four essential areas to keep an eye on.

 

1) Passports & Visas

This is probably the area that most people will question when it comes to Brexit - will my passport still work, and will I need a visa to visit Europe? The answers to those questions will depend on whether or not Britain leaves the EU with an deal or not. 

If a deal is agreed before the 31st October 2019, then if you're an EU citizen or a UK national, you will be able to travel visa-free with your passport or identity card until the transition period ends in 2020. After that point, regardless of whether or not there is a deal, you will need to purchase a visa waiver called an ETIAS, similar to the ETSA you purchase to visit the United States. 

As for passports, if there is a deal, your passport will be valid and accepted anywhere in the EU until it expires. However, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, things get a little complicated. Your passport will need to have been issued within the last 10 years, and be valid for at least three months after your return date. This specifically relates to travel within the Schengen Area.

 

2) Travel & Health Insurance

European Health Insurance Cards, or EHICs, have proved invaluable for individuals who have been injured whilst travelling in Europe. 

If Britain leaves with a deal in place, then your EHIC will work as normal up until the end of the transition period, which ends in 2020. If there is no deal in place, then as it stands, the EHIC scheme will finish, and you will need to purchase travel & health insurance in the same way you would if you were travelling to any country not part of the European Union.

 

3) Mobile Data & Roaming

As it currently stands, you are able to use your mobile data in the EU without any extra roaming charges. If the UK leaves with a deal, then that will likely continue until the end of the transition period, at which point you will likely find yourself being charged for data roaming, as the decision to reintroduce roaming charges will be left to mobile networks.

However, the UK government intends to introduce a law that would cap extra charges at £45 a month in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

 

4) Driving and Driving Licenses

If Britain leaves without a deal, the likelihood is that your UK driving license would not be valid as a standalone item. You will probably need to purchase an International Driving Permit to supplement your license, which costs (at the time of publishing) £5.50. Most EU member countries will recognise the IDP for three years, with the exception of Spain, Malta and Cyprus which require a slightly different IDP valid for 12 months.

The biggest stumbling block will be for UK nationals currently living in an EU member country. It is advised that you replace your UK license with a locally-issued license as soon as possible, because in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it is likely that you would be required to retake your test in your country of residence.

As the situation around Brexit continues to shift, it is advised that you always check reliable, government resources for the most up-to-date information. The information in this article is valid as of May 2019.

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Ben Barton

Ben Barton

Using words to inform, persuade and entertain. From Travel Safety to the NFL, I write about anything and everything. Except for golf.