Published July 15 2016
It was a seemingly endless campaign that was at times very aggressive and bad tempered. Accusations flew between the two sides, there was even a battle of flotillas outside the Houses of Parliament. And, eventually, the unthinkable did happen. Against all the odds, the UK voted to leave the EU.
In the aftermath of this seismic shift there’s a great deal to be resolved, not least when the country will actually have to leave the EU. Some effects have already been felt although whether these are just temporary blips is a matter of debate. What is more certain is that once the split has occurred there will be many areas of life that will be affected.
A key one will be travel within the EU and there have been certain predictions about precisely how it could be affected.
How Will Brexit Affect UK Travel?
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Air Travel Could Become More Expensive
Airlines, and particularly low-budget ones, benefit from agreements with the EU to fly throughout Europe without restrictions.
It’s quite likely that these agreements will be scrapped and UK airlines will need to renegotiate higher fees, which could well be passed on to the traveller.
The Exchange Rate Could Mean Less for Your Pound
In the immediate aftermath of the result being announced the pound plunged against both the euro and the dollar, though it has started to recover slightly.
In the longer term, some financial institutions believe that Brexit could hit the pound by as much as 20%. This won’t just affect visits to EU countries, as the weaker pound against the dollar is likely to make travelling to the States more expensive too.
More Expensive Roaming Charges
Costs of using mobile phones abroad have long been a big issue for travellers.
So many were relieved when the EU stepped in to reduce roaming charges, which are even due to be scrapped completely in 2017. But it does seem very likely that these will not apply to UK citizens once they fully make their exit.
Less Legal Protection for Travellers
The red tape and regulations imposed by the EU have been two of the major bugbears of membership but a number of these provide valuable protection.
For example, the compensation that travellers receive for delayed or cancelled flights is thanks to EU directives. Similarly, EU rules that provide financial protection if a package holiday company goes bust owing you money.
Once the UK is outside the Union these may no longer apply.
No More Reciprocal Health Care
Carrying the EHIC card has long meant that if the worst ever happens you can receive free medical care in any EU country.
In the post-Brexit world it seems unlikely that these reciprocal healthcare arrangements will continue, especially as the promise to restrict EU nationals’ access to NHS services played such a major role in the Leave campaign.
Naturally, there are many other areas that could also be affected, from changes to the amount of alcohol and number of cigarettes you’re allowed to bring back from Europe to the possible introduction of much stricter border controls.
Of course the keen traveller will never be disheartened – whatever extra complications there are along the way, the actual experience of travel will always be all the reward you need.
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Photo credits: Girls with phone by Garry Knight.