Britons Uncertain About Travel Across Europe Due To Brexit

2018-11-27T10:01:52+00:00

Since the time the UK has voted to leave the European Union, EU citizens residing in Britain and British citizens residing in countries of the EU have become anxious. The UK wants to leave EU and hence they have taken the decision, but what about those who want to go out of the UK for weekend breaks, summer vacations or for other reasons every now and then? The UK residents are uncertain about their future with major concerns surrounding the value of the pound, the price to be paid for holidays and the ease with which they can move out of the country and across the borders. Let’s have a look at a few important things related to Brexit effect.

The decision is made with a very small majority

When UK decided to leave the EU under the terms of Article 50, a part of the treaty of Lisbon in 2016, they held a poll and voted. However, they could manage a very small majority. Among the voters, only 52% voted in favour of the decision while 48% of them opposed it and stated that they would like to remain members of the EU. Most of the opponents were from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The reason behind this is considered to be the benefits they receive from the European Union in the form of subsidies.

Renew the passports

The UK will be leaving the European Union on 29th March 2019. However, there will be a succeeding transition period. According to reports, there may be a possible extension beyond December 2020, although Prime Minister Theresa May had to face conflict over the same in the country. The discussions may or may not reach an agreement in the near future, but tourists and business travellers are more likely to face issues like extra costs and stricter rules and regulations.

A few important measures are being recommended by experts to frequent travellers, such as they should renew their passports if less than one year is left for its expiry. This will help in decreasing the problems one may face while crossing the borders and moving across Europe if the UK gets a no-Brexit deal.

One must note that after March 2019, passports of UK travellers must have at least 6 months of remaining validity, as new guidelines will be functional for third-country nationals after that. Additionally, after March 2019, Britons may have to put in an application for electronic travel authorisation for their trip to other parts of Europe. However, there are no restrictions over the lower remaining time for passport expiry for the citizens of countries located in the Schengen area for travelling in the European Visa zone.

Check here the requirements for applying for ETIAS Authorization.

New Requirements And Rules for Passport

Earlier, UK passport agencies used to add unexpired time, which was granted up to extra nine months on the passports for the sake of early renewal. However, as per the government’s suggestion, they have stopped adding this additional time. The increment of time will also not be applied to Schengen requirements. The reason behind this is the exit of the UK and Northern Ireland from the European Union. Similarly, HM Passport Office has also taken a few steps. It has come up with an online checking tool for those who have passports and need to get their documents checked.

As per the new legislation, the Westminster government has suggested mutual travel without visa for the UK and European Union citizens so that they can continue to travel smoothly and freely for the sake of tourism. However, it is more likely that European Parliament or council might ruin this set-up as they are demanding that Britons must first acquire an online travel authorisation through ETIAS which is a permit for travelling to EU nations, with a validity of 3 years. The cost of this permit is around 7 Pounds.

Countries like Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and many others are not a part of the Schengen area and hence they have special requirements. The countries to which the new passport rules will be applied are the Channel Islands and Isle of Man and Gibraltar.

Generally, the time required for the renewal of passport is around 3 weeks. To overcome such situations, the urgent passport service will continue to be in operation. After Britain leaves the EU, the passport will change, and it will not feature the European cover.

Changeable Viewpoints for British Tourists and Business Travellers

Due to these new developments regarding Brexit, the rest of Europe may not consider the driving license of UK valid. UK citizens will need to have international driving permits for holiday trips using a car or any other vehicle. Only British homeowners in France are likely to get different but favourable treatment if they have purchased homes before Brexit.

Countries that are the part of European Economic Area and European Free Trade Association have been enjoying free movement within the EU till now. However, this privilege may not be there after the UK leaves EU although they are willing to negotiate. The reasons behind this are the Brexit discussions and political atmosphere.

At present, the European Council is chaired by Bulgaria’s interior minister, Valentin Radev. He has informed how border areas will be controlled and prevented from illegal migrants. Additionally, the European Union has published information about how ETIAS is going to improvise security, take steps for public health and lessen delays in services. Airlines and ferries have also been directed to check each and every traveller before boarding. The coach operators have also been instructed to obey the rules and regulations of ETIAS within 3 years of its introduction.

Britons in France and no-deal Brexit

The government of France has introduced a new bill in order to avoid no-deal Brexit confusions. This bill states that, if no-deal Brexit happens, Britons in France will become third-country nationals and hence they will be required to have long-stay visas if they stay in France for more than 3 months. After no-deal Brexit, the citizens of Great Britain residing in France will automatically be considered as illegal residents if they do not have the necessary residence documents.

The bill clearly states that if the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union without agreement, the Britons who are enjoying free movement and stay across the European Union and their family members will automatically become third country nationals and will have to follow common laws regarding their stay in these countries. This includes the Visa to be presented in order to enter France and a residence permit for a legal stay in the country.

The bill also states that as per the national law stating the code regarding entry and residence of foreigners in France and the right of shelter provided for the responsibility regarding international commitments of France for the foreigners willing to take entry in the country and stay for more than three months, will be applied to Britons as well. This means that if the UK withdraws from the European Union without agreement, Britons wishing to live in France for more than three months will have to apply for a long-stay visa and present it while entering the country. Additionally, in the event of UK’s withdrawal from the European Union without agreement, British citizens who are residing in France at present and their family members will be considered as staying illegally due to the lack of proper residential documents.

According to this bill, British residents in France active in various professions such as doctors, pharmacists, tobacconists will be affected the most by no-deal Brexit.

Will British nationals denied Visas?

It is being said that if the UK withdraws from the European Union, the UK residents wishing to visit France will be denied visas. However, the authorities have confirmed this news as fake. The President of the country said that it is their responsibility that the life of their people does not get affected due to the no-deal Brexit. Therefore, visas will be given but only after completing the entire process.

Alarm for Britons in EU

UK Home Office has issued a warning to Britons residing in the European Union to get ready for no-deal Brexit. They are being forewarned that in case of no-deal Brexit, they will be treated as third-country nationals in countries of the European Union.

They are being informed by a notice that the Britons living in the European Union may need passports issued in the last 10 years and valid for an additional three months beyond their stay in the Schengen Zone. The notice further explains that if the passport of any such British citizen does not meet this criterion, they may be denied entry and stay in any of the countries falling in the Schengen area and hence they must renew their passports before they travel.

As we all are aware, the United Kingdom has decided to leave the European Union after a poll was held to decide if the UK should leave the European Union or remain a part of it. Those who voted for Brexit won only by a marginal difference.

European Union to Increase Schengen Visa Fee Due to no-deal Brexit

The new Visa code is adopted by ambassadors of EU on 19th June 2018. Among several other provisions, it has a provision to increase the price of Visa for Schengen. At present, it is 60 Euros. However, as per the new proposal, it will be increased by 20 Euro. This fee is being increased in order to cover the cost of processing the visa without any delay.

However, as per experts, the main reason behind this increase is believed to be Brexit. The UK is one of the largest taxpayers in the European Union and after it withdraws out of it, the Union will have fewer funds but still have to continue working on strengthening border control. Therefore, EU has to look for new ways to gain funds. The increase in visa fees will raise a significant amount every year, which can be used for the purpose of strengthening borders.

If the no-deal Brexit does happen, British nationals in countries of the European Union will be considered as third-country citizens and will have to travel to these countries with visa. However, it is still unclear how Britain is going to treat the citizens of other countries of the European Union residing in the UK. It is being proposed to them that they should charge 10 Pounds for one-time entry visa after Brexit.

Effects on the Aviation Industry will be Huge

When the UK will withdraw from the European Union next year, it will have significant effects on each and every field. However, the aviation industry will be the most affected. The reason behind this is that the UK airlines will not have their airspace and Britons travellers will not have any law to protect them if no-deal Brexit happens.

It is important to note that no new deal has been done to allow aviation companies to use airspace when the United Kingdom exits the European Union. Therefore, European airlines are still uncertain about their legality to fly after March 2019. Brexit will hurt flights between the UK and other countries of European Union as there is a high possibility of their flying being banned. It is being said that British companies will not get space to fly to the European Union and its 17 countries after Brexit, and it is going to cause a huge damage to their business. They will also be left with the customers looking for compensation for their air tickets.

Many British nationals have booked their holidays and their air tickets to various countries of the European Union for later than March 2019. So, if no-deal Brexit does happen, they will be unable to fly to their destinations, or they will have to be compensated for the cancellation or delay of their flights.

No-deal Brexit, if it does happen, is going to bring significant changes in the travel and tourism industry from the UK to other countries of the European Union and vice versa. Hence, British citizens are uncertain over what lies for them in the future as regards to travelling to countries of the EU.

See also: Is it possible to work legally with ETIAS