It has been constantly in the news in recent years and is a fact as of 1 February. The Brexit, leaving the European Union by the United Kingdom. This is going to have many consequences in many areas. But what are the consequences for us tourists who want to travel to the UK? Are we going to feel the effects of this, what are the consequences and how can we prepare for it?
I did some research on this and these are my preliminary findings, everything depends on the treaties concluded by both parties. So it can still go in all directions. In my findings I limit myself to the points that have an impact on what I love to do, traveling to London.
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We do not have to expect any shocking changes until 31 December 2020. This is namely the transition period. During this period, the United Kingdom will consult with the European Union on many issues that were previously regulated by European legislation. Various treaties will have to be concluded that, for example, must regulate immigration.
Which tourists are going to suffer the most from the Brexit?
In fact, everyone is confronted with this, be it directly or indirectly. What do I mean by this? Traveling between the United Kingdom and the European Union will change to some extend. The United Kingdom has never signed the Schengen Convention, which governed the free movement of persons and goods between member states. But as a resident of the EU, with a EU passport or identity card, you could use a separate Schengen passage for border control. This made customs control a lot faster than for those from outside the EU. They had an exceptional position in this. This exception position will now be canceled. The consequence of this is that there may be longer queues at customs, since there is no longer a separate Schengen passage, everyone is in the same queue at customs.
In addition, the value of the British currency the Great British Pound (GBP) will be weaker compared to the Euro and the Dollar. It will therefore be cheaper for tourists from outside the UK to travel to Great Britain and for residents of the UK more expensive to travel abroad. This means that residents of Great Britain are more likely to spend their holidays in their own country. This can make it harder to get hold of that hotel or bungalow that you would like so much. Perhaps a little contradictory to the previously stated fact that the Pound is getting weaker, this may lead to higher prices of the available accommodations due to supply and demand.
The points above are the indirect consequences of the Brexit. Inhabitants of the European Union will experience the direct consequences of the Brexit much more, including changes regarding immigration rules. More about this below.
Will I need other travel documents or a visa in the future?
The expectation is that you can no longer travel to the United Kingdom with your European ID card. You will have to purchase a passport. This therefore entails additional costs if you do not have a passport yet and you have to purchase one.
With regard to a visa requirement, there is a proposal from the European Union, which states that travelers from the United Kingdom may travel without a visa to a Member State in the European Union up to a maximum of 90 days. A condition is that the reverse should also apply. After all, the knife cuts both ways.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May has also expressed a similar wish. So I assume that this will continue in one form or another. For your city trip to London or any UK city or a holiday, this will not be an obstacle.
Update: Starting the 1st of Octobre 2021 European and Swiss citizens can no longer travel to the UK with their ID card, but need to acquire a passport!
Are the costs for using your telephone changing?
The costs for using your phone can be higher. The EU agreements on roaming charges no longer apply. Check with your telephone provider whether this applies to your subscription. For a weekend trip the impact will not be so great, but when you are going to spend your vacation in the UK this is possible. An option might then be to purchase a SIM card from a local provider. This way you prevent unpleasant surprises when you return home.
Can I still take a good bottle of Whiskey or Gin home?
Yes, you can still do that. If there is no trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the import of alcohol and tobacco will be limited. If you exceed the amount that you can take with you, you must pay import duties and VAT on this. So this is a point to consider.
Will my bank charge me extra costs when I withdraw money in the UK?
No! The United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union, but it is still a European country. The European banks have agreed on this. So continue to withdraw money from the ATM machines, this is cheaper than taking money with you and change on location. Paying with your debit card in shops, pubs and restaurants is also no problem.
Are we going to notice the effects of the Brexit when we travel to and from the UK? Yes, that’s for sure. The extent of the effects has to be seen. In the transitional period, important negotiations will take place between the two parties on countless subjects that must be properly regulated. But it will not hinder us from traveling to and from Great Britain.