Last updated: 08:58 April 9th 2019
With the next Brexit EU deadline scheduled for 31st October, there is a lot of uncertainty for travellers with British passports. We have compiled a quick guide explaining what Brexit could mean for you as a traveller.
No Brexit Deal
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, British passport holders will be considered third-country nationals by countries within the Schengen area after 31st October 2019.
VISAs: No Deal
You shouldn’t need a VISA to travel to the EU after Brexit. The European Commission proposed in November 2018 that, even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers can still visit the EU without a VISA, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK. The European Commission has said that from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee (of around 7 Euros) for this VISA exemption. This is part of a new electronic authorisation system applying to all third-country visitors to the EU, similar to the US ESTA programme.
European Health Insurance Card & Travel Insurance: No Deal
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid.
ABTA has always advised holidaymakers and business travellers to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC card or not, as there are limitations to EHIC.
When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you’re not sure.
Advice on travel insurance can be found here.
Agreed Brexit Deal
If the UK leaves with the current proposed deal, then there will be a transition period until the end of 2020, in which little will actually change. EU citizens and UK nationals will continue to be able to travel freely with a passport or identity card until the end of the transition period in 2020.