Ask the average person what the terms of Brexit involve and the likely answer would involve departure of the European Union, possibly the use of the phrase “Brexit means Brexit” and maybe an additional answer of the difference between “hard Brexit” and “Soft Brexit.” Until the release of the White paper, little was known as to how exactly Prime minister Theresa May and recently appointed Brexit Minster Dominic Raab planned to move forward with Brexit negotiations.
controlling immigration was key in obtaining victory for the Brexit vote
But what does Brexit specifically mean for Travel? While the White paper addresses all the aspects of the preferred Brexit negotiations, there is clarity specially as to what the future holds for UK citizens travelling within the EU. While these negations may not be agreed upon in Brussels and the EU will have their own side to travel negotiations, the White paper remains a clear indication of the how the UK plans to negotiate moving forward.
When referring back to the initial campaign in support for Brexit, controlling immigration was key in obtaining victory for the Brexit vote, more specifically to end free movement. Free movement allows for the free movement of goods, services, capital and people all of which are fundamental to the single market. Brexiteers who favour a “hard Brexit” would argue that the exiting the single market would be more beneficial than allowing freedom of movement.
UK and the EU where people can travel between the territories
The White paper elaborates. Specifically, in regard to travel the White paper claims that “it would end free movement taking back control of the UK’s borders.” However, the White paper proposes “A Mobility Framework” thereby continuing a relationship between the UK and the EU where people can travel between the territories and continue to apply for study and work.
Visa-free travel was also an important proposal in the White paper, with many citizens concerned that Brexit would result in lengthy queues at airports while traveling. Visa-free travel proposes to “enable UK and EU citizens to continue to travel freely for tourism in the future, maintaining the close links between the people of the UK and the EU.” The continuation of the use of the EHIC, the European Health Insurance Card, for both UK and EU residents was also specified as a goal moving forward.
It’s never been more important for consumers to be aware of fluctuations and the political agenda
Clarification on Brexit terms has still left many travellers apprehensive about booking their Summer 2019 holidays. While early booking may guarantee reduced prices and discounted airline tickets, with uncertainty regarding final negotiations, holiday goers may choose to hold off on booking their next European adventure. Ensuring that you buy travel insurance is the advice given by a spokesman for GoCompare. While insurance may not cover foreseen Brexit disturbances, it will allow holiday goers peace of mind in booking their travels.
The state of the pound is another issue to be weary of when booking holidays in the future. Ian Strafford-Taylor,FairFXchief executive, has warned that “Political uncertainty has a huge impact on the stability of currency as the past two years has showcased. It’s never been more important for consumers to be aware of fluctuations and the political agenda so that they can prepare as much as possible and buy currency when the pound is at its strongest.” The state of the pound will remain an issue whether traveling is taking place within or outside the European Union.
holiday goers traveling to the EU may not notice much difference compared to previous years
For the most part, the UK travel industry has welcomed the proposals set in the White paper. Mark Tanzer, chief executive of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) commented that “It’s good to see the government recognise many of the main priorities ABTA has been highlighting for the industry and travelling public – such as maintaining open skies access, remaining part of the European Aviation Safety Agency, ensuring visa-free travel, and keeping the European Health Insurance Card system.”
While no one truly can predict how Brexit will impact the UK come March 2019, it is safe to say that if May’s travel proposals are followed through, holiday goers traveling to the EU may not notice much difference compared to previous years – albeit a slightly more expensive holiday. But with the never-ending heatwave currently taking place in the UK, who knows? Maybe we will never need to travel to chase the sun ever again.