The Brexit deadline has been moved to early 2020 - likely the 31st of January. As we're nearing this date, there are still reassurances from ABTA that current travel arrangements will remain as they are today.
If a deal is agreed on, or before the 31st January 2020, the UK will enter a period of transition and everything will remain as is and you will be able to continue to travel as you do now. This means you can still use a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and use the EU/EEA passport gates after this date during this transition period. In the event of a no deal, there are still reassurances from the UK Government and European Commission that UK citizens will still be able to travel to and from the EU as there will be legislation in place to allow this.
It has been confirmed that, with or without a deal, flights will still operate between the UK and the EU and many holidaymakers already have holidays planned and booked for the beginning of 2020. Whilst we don't yet have all of the answers when it comes to Brexit, we will do our very best to keep you updated with all the latest information as it comes through from ABTA. Here's what we know so far:
Can I still fly to Europe after Brexit?
In a word, yes. You can rest assured that, regardless of the outcome of the government's Brexit negotiations, UK citizens will still be able to fly between the UK and the EU. If we leave the EU with a deal then everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020. In the case of a no-deal, the UK government has recently confirmed that UK-based airlines will still be able to operate between the UK and the EU, and the same goes for EU-based airlines flying into the UK. Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA, also stated in April that:
Today’s announcement provides further assurance that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, travellers can continue to book holidays and business trips with confidence.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU?
The European Parliament has confirmed that - even in the event of a no deal - UK citizens won't be required to obtain a visa to travel to the EU for short stays after Brexit. According to the European Commission, from 2021 UK citizens will have to pay a visa exemption fee of 7 Euros (similar to the US ESTA process).
What happens if my holiday is cancelled due to Brexit?
Rest assured, nothing suggests this will happen even in the case of a no-deal Brexit. Flights will still operate, and when you book a package holiday through On the Beach you're protected by the comprehensive Package Travel Regulations, meaning that you’ll be entitled to a full refund or alternative if your holiday can’t be provided. The government has stated that even if we leave the EU without a deal your protections will stay the same if you buy a package holiday from a UK-based business. In other words, you can feel safe booking a package holiday with On the Beach as we are a UK-based business.
Earlier this year, travel expert Simon Calder spoke on ITV's This Morning show about the security of package holidays specifically, and that - by booking elements together rather than separately - if your holiday can't be provided you'll get your money back much more easily: "I would have no hesitation booking a package holiday," Calder said. "The worst that will happen is you will get your money back."
Read about your rights here.
British passport holders will need at least six months left on their passport in order to travel in the EU after Brexit. The six months is counted from your arrival date. Please check the date that your passport expires to ensure you have enough time to renew it before you travel. You can renew your passport online or by going to a Post Office with a Check and Send service. If you aren't sure whether you need to renew your passport, you can find out by clicking here to use the government's online Check a Passport tool.
Health and travel insurance
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, your EHIC will no longer be valid. On the Beach advises customers to take out appropriate travel insurance when going abroad, whether the EHIC is valid or not.
Will I be able to drive in the EU after Brexit?
If you have a full UK driving licence, you're currently still able to drive in the EU. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this is likely to change and you would need to apply for an International Driving Permit, which would come with a small fee. In a no-deal scenario, you will also have to obtain and carry a Green Card in order for your UK car insurance to be applicable in the EU. Your insurer may charge you a small fee for issuing this.
Will I have free mobile data roaming in the EU after Brexit?
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, free EU roaming will no longer be available to UK citizens. However, some UK companies have said they may continue to offer the service to their customers – check the costs with your service provider before you travel.
This is your On the Beach hub for all things Brexit-related and we will continue to keep it updated with all the latest information as it becomes available to us. You can also keep yourself up-to-date by visiting ABTA’s website here.