Brexit has been a topic of conversation in the news since the first vote on the matter was taken nearly three years ago. With much activity in Parliament, deadlines and deals have been very much in flux.
As of March 22, the BBC reported that the U.K.’s original departure date from the European Union (EU) of March 29 could be pushed back to May 22, if Prime Minister Theresa May could get her withdrawal deal through Parliament by March 29. If not, the U.K. would have to propose an exit path by April 12.
Update (March 27): A petition calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to revoke plans for Brexit and remain in the EU had received more than 5.7 million signatures as of Tuesday. The issue continues to be debated in Parliament at the time of this update.
Should Brexit occur, there are many questions about how any kind of exit from the EU (deal or no deal) will affect travel.
Although there is certainly concern that the value of the British pound will drop against both the US dollar and the Euro, broader economic impacts are still very much in flux. Trade and the business travel that accompanies it will be impacted as companies adapt to different regulations, tariffs and checks on business between the two trading blocks.
With that groundwork laid, here are some of the most common questions we’ve been answering for travel managers and travelers lately around Brexit.
I’m a travel manager. How will Brexit impact my daily work?
While the affects of Brexit are still taking shape, every possible scenario promises to make life more complex for travel managers and the employees they help get from point A to point B.
Will I still be able to travel to the U.K. for business and leisure?
Yes! While the U.K. is leaving the EU, it remains a global center of business and recreation.
How will flights between the U.K. and EU be affected?
The U.K. government and EU have confirmed that flights will continue from both regions even in the event of a no deal Brexit, with no change to caps on the number of flights taking place. Travelers should expect longer queues at immigration and customs on both sides.
How will travel on the Eurostar rail network between the U.K. and EU be affected?
The Treaty of Canterbury between the U.K. and France governs the Channel Tunnel link and trains will continue to run. However, current industrial action by French customs workers is causing major delays to Eurostar services and will likely continue up to and beyond March 29. Travelers are advised not to travel between London and Paris by train unless absolutely necessary.
How will Brexit impact the cost of travel to the U.K.?
Should a no deal Brexit occur, the value of the British pound may drop in relation to the Euro, which will make travel more expensive for U.K. residents, but likely more affordable for travelers from America and other European countries visiting the U.K.
How will my travel experience from the U.S. to the U.K. change?
Travel itself won’t change, but immigration procedures once you arrive in the U.K. will, so allow more time to get through customs than you have in the past. Practically, this may mean booking an earlier flight to allow yourself an extra hour or two at the airport, particularly if you are connecting on to Europe.
Do I need a visa or passport to enter the U.K. after Brexit?
U.S. passport holders won’t need a visa to enter the U.K. You will however, need a passport with six months’ validity left on it.
Do U.K. and EU travelers need visas to travel to each other?
U.K. travelers will not require a visa when visiting the EU and vice versa. However, they will need six months’ validity on their passport, which was not previously the case.
Have a question about Brexit we didn’t touch on here? Let us know, or if you're a Travel and Transport customer, please contact your designated account manager.