Regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations there is every indication that flights and travel between the UK and EU will continue after 12 April 2019. Even in the case of a ‘no-deal’ scenario, the European Commission and UK government have said that UK and EU airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU. There is nothing to suggest that we won’t be able to operate your holiday as planned. Your holiday will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations, meaning you’ll have the right to a full refund in the unlikely event that your holiday can no longer be provided for any reason.
If the UK leaves with a deal, travel between the UK and the EU and EEA (European Economic Area) will remain the same as now until at least 31 December 2020.
If, however, the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there are some areas where changes will apply and you may need to take action now to prepare for the impact of a possible ‘no-deal’ Brexit on your holiday to an EU or EEA country.
Passport rules will be changing in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. After 12th April you should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival in an EU or EEA country. This applies to both adult and child passports. If you renewed a passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe. See gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit to check if you need to renew your passport before you travel.
The European Commission has proposed that in a no-deal scenario UK passport holders will still be able to travel to the EU without a visa for short stays, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK. However if you plan to stay within the Schengen area (which covers most of the EU - excluding Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania - plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) for more than 90-days or will have spent more than 90 days in any 180-day period in the Schengen area then you will need to apply for a visa prior to travel.
Driving licence requirements will also be changing in a ‘no-deal’ scenario. UK driving licence holders looking to drive in the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) on or after 12 April 2019 may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit. These cost £5.50 and are available directly from the Post Office. The Government is working to extend the network of Post Offices where you can apply for an International Driving Permit. Please check carefully which permit is required for each country you will be driving in. For more information visit this government webpage. A complete list of EU and EEA countries can be found by clicking here.
If you are planning on travelling to an EU or EEA country this year, please check the validity of your passport straight away. If your passport will not have sufficient validity in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit please apply for a new passport as soon as possible.
If you are planning on driving in the EU, Iceland or Norway on or after 12 April 2019 please check whether the countries you intend to drive in require you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) here gov.uk/guidance/international-driving-permits-for-uk-drivers-from-28-march-2019. If an IDP is required please apply in plenty of time before you travel.
For the latest information you can also refer to gov.uk/guidance/uk-nationals-travelling-to-eu-essential-information.
For urgent new passport applications please see https://www.gov.uk/get-a-passport-urgently or you can also use CIBT to process urgent applications – find out more here: https://cibtvisas.co.uk/passports.