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Brexit: what difference will it make to my travel plans?

Date added: Wednesday 29th June 2016

Frontier have written a blog about Brexit, where things are at now and what might happen in the future. We've taken a piece of that blog covering some immediate concerns you may have as a traveller and suggest you read the whole article if you feel you need to be better informed about Brexit more generally.

Do you need a new passport?
There is no need to panic if you’ve got a holiday booked for this summer. While you may have noticed that your passport is stamped with ‘EU Passport’ at the top, they will continue to be valid until Article 50 is invoked and even then it is plausible to presume that the old design will merely be replaced in a process of phasing them out rather than an instant invalidation.

What happens to your EHIC card?
A lot of you probably have or have at least heard of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that entitles travellers to emergency medical treatment within the EU country they are travelling within. As with the passports, until Article 50 is triggered these are still just as valid as they were before the result was revealed. In the future, it is possible that the UK will be able to negotiate a deal with European countries as some, such as Switzerland, already have done in order to allow for the continuation of EHIC cards. If this is not possible, then the UK may be able to set up reciprocal deals as it has done with countries such as Australia and New Zealand under which visitors can receive free urgent treatment.

What about your driving licence?
Similarly to your passport, you may have noticed that your driving licence features the EU flag. However, as with the passports it is believed that these will simply be phased out and a new design will take their place after the old documents expire. For the time being, the licence will remain valid as the UK is currently still a member of the EU and so again, there is nothing to worry about right now.

Will you need a VISA to travel within the EU?
Again, for the time being nothing will be changing. Once the UK has officially left the EU it is possible that you will still be able to travel freely across the European countries as it is likely that the UK will have to accept the continuation of free movement in order to gain access to single trade market, in which case restrictions on travelling within the EU will remain largely unchanged. If this doesn’t happen, it still seems unlikely that other European countries would want to deter tourists and so the UK will be likely to attempt to work out a deal in which British citizens can visit a country for up to 90 days without needing a visa, as is the case in many other countries already.

What will happen to the EU nationals living in the UK and the British living in the EU?
Despite what seem to be largely felt beliefs, no propositions were made during the campaign to suggest that mass deportations would take place following a siding with Brexit. There is therefore no need for the 3 million EU nationals currently living in the UK or the 1.2 million UK nationals living elsewhere in the EU to panic and even after Brexit has been formally initiated this decision seems unlikely to change.

As ever, if you're planning to travel or or already travelling keep checking the latest travel advice from and stay in touch with friends and family at home so they have a rough idea where you are at any point in time.