On Friday the 24th of June the UK announced that the results of the referendum were in favour of a European Union exit (referred to as ‘Brexit’) and most people the world over were totally shocked.
While many thought the results would be very close, few actually believed that the UK would take the plunge and leave the EU, which then prompted David Cameron’s resignation. Those that voted pro-Brexit have won and because nothing of this sort has ever happened before, the full consequences of the vote are yet to unravel. One of the more pressing questions on many people’s minds right now is: “what will it mean for travel?” – especially with the vote having taken place just days before the summer holidays kick off.
Let’s rip off the plaster:
Following Brexit, there will be definite changes affecting travel to Europe.
Initially, the biggest impact is bound to be financial, and at this point, we actually don’t have clarity on which way that will swing long term. The pound could either continue to weaken, making euros more expensive and thus, overall travel, naturally, pricier. Or we could see a rise in the pound as it stabilizes with its sovereignty, making travel even more affordable. For these summer holidays, however, just be prepared to get a little less bang for your buck.
While these are certainly uncharted waters, it doesn’t necessarily spell doom and gloom.
One of the most important things to realise right now, is that it’s going to take a good two years for Brexit to take full effect. The UK will technically stay in the EU for that time, and apart from the exchange rate, little else should change. Over the course of these two years, negotiations and renegotiations will take place to bring about new terms, and the hope is that they will not be too different from what they were.
So, what else will be affected?
The long-term effects of Brexit are still largely unknown, but these are areas that might see changes into the future:
Popular opinion is that once Brexit is in full effect, Britons will still be able to travel between the UK and EU countries easily, much as they have in the past, merely needing to pass through border control. Certainly for the next two years, this is sure to be the case. Keep in mind that, should they introduce visa regulations, they are sure to be minimal. Countries in the EU will want to maintain their high tourist numbers from the UK.
Many people are concerned that the cheaper airfares enjoyed before Brexit will not continue once the leave is official. At this point, it all depends on the negotiations between the UK and EU, and it might all come down to defining new air service agreements. Right now, only time will tell.
Until the UK is officially out of the EU, travellers will be able to bring unlimited goods back home with them. These terms will also have to be looked at and there is a chance that a duty-free allowance will be restored for Britons. This means an allowance of 16 litres of beer, four litres of wine (non-sparkling) and 200 cigarettes. It could also mean that Britons will have to pay £2 for each bottle of wine brought home.
Deciding what will happen to roaming charges is another area that need to be negotiated in the future, but will stay the same until Brexit is official. Keep in mind, however, that free wifi, as well as internet-based messages and calls, can be one way to curb high roaming fees if they come back into play.
The European Health Insurance Card ensures that Britons receive free or low-cost treatment in other EU countries, and the same applies for EU visitors to the UK. As Brexit comes into effect, arrangements will have to be made during negotiations to ensure that this is still applicable for Britons, as well as those visiting the UK. If they decide to do away with it, however, then travellers will need to take out travel insurance to ensure that they are covered.
The bottom line
While we are entering a period of uncertainty, when it comes to travelling during these summer holidays and during the next two years, apart from the pound-euro exchange, you can rest assured that your travel plans won’t be affected by any other immediate changes. This sentiment is echoed by the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) in their Q&A report on the referendum result, which you can find here.
If you are heading to Spain this summer and looking for the ultimate place to relax after the confusion brought about by the referendum, then contact us to book a stay at one of our incredible Calpe hotels. Enjoy your time in the sunshine knowing that when you stay with us, you are still getting the best value money can buy.