Brexit: How Will It Affect Travel to the UK and EU?
Now that Britain has left the European Union, Brexit is now well underway, but that doesn’t mean everything has changed overnight. The UK is currently in a transition period, as Britain and the European Union work out the final details before the end of 2020.
While Brexit’s effect on Britain’s economy and politics is uncertain, there is more clarity for those planning to travel to Britain and the European Union in a post-brexit world.
What does the UK leaving the EU mean for travelers?
In the short term, it’s expected that very little will change for visitors from outside or inside the EU until at least December 31st, 2020, the end of the transition period. Hopefully, by that stage, the UK will have negotiated a trade deal, security arrangements, and established a new set of immigration laws. Until then, the UK will remain part of the single market and customs union.
Things that won’t change post-brexit for non-EU citizens
The UK never joined the Schengen Agreement, where 26 EU countries maintained open borders and visa-free travel. Entering the UK from any other country (apart from Ireland) has involved passport presentation and visa regulations have always applied for non-EU residents. Those non-EU residents will not experience any change in this. Find out more information about visas and travel here!
Things that are likely to stay the same post-brexit for non-EU citizens
Though pets that qualified for EU Pet Passports have been able to travel freely within the EU, other regulations applied when coming into the UK from elsewhere in the world. Dogs, cats, and ferrets with the appropriate inoculations and papers have been able to enter the UK from “Listed” countries outside of Europe without a quarantine period. It’s unlikely to change, however, some of the paperwork may change in the future. Click here on more information on bringing your pet to the UK.
Duty-Free allowances change from time to time, however, if you are traveling from the UK to a country outside of the EU, you have always been able to shop duty-free. That is not likely to change, but what could possibly change in the future is the kind of duty-free shopping available. Right now, there is no duty-free shopping between the UK and Europe but subject to Brexit negotiations this could change, allowing visitors to shop duty-free once again.
Things that are unknown at this stage
Visa requirements for EU citizens are one of many things that will eventually be negotiated and no one knows what is going to happen as of yet. You may find that lines at immigration and passport control will be longer since EU citizens won’t be going through the same channel as British passport holders. For now, this will not affect your travel plans.
Once Brexit is fully underway, the UK no longer needs to impose VAT, but they may decide to impose their own sales taxes on goods. No one knows if this is going to happen or if you will be able to reclaim the VAT as of yet.
What about trains and ferries between the UK and the EU?
According to the British government, trains, ferries, cruises, and bus/coach services between the UK and EU will run without any changes after Brexit. Passengers traveling via Eurostar already go through Passport and ID checks and this will continue. If you need a visa, you need to make sure you have one.