What Brexit Means for Travelers
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has filed papers to officially start the Brexit process. Here is how it might affect travelers.
Other countries have threatened it — most recently and noisily, Greece— but none had followed through,, until June of last year. In a nationwide referendum,, Britain’s ” Leave ” camp won a stunning 52% of the vote, setting the nation on the path to separation from the 28 member European Union. Now, after Britain’s 44 years as a member state, May has triggered Article 50, initiating the official Brexit process in a letter to the EU. Once begun, the process can not be halted, except by the unanimous consent of all member states. And while Britain will not actually leave the EU until March of 2019, here are a few things for travelers to keep their eye on in the meantime.
Air Fares May Go Up
Budget or no frills air carriers like EasyJet have in the past made travel to the UK from various parts of Europe seamless and cheap. Now that the UK has decided to exit,,, it will likely mean new air service agreements will have to be renegotiated . That means fares could increase. Currently the “open Skies ” agreement allows for more airlines, more routes, and lower fares between EU member states. The single aviation area gives airlines more freedom to fly across Europe and since its introduction ,,, passengers have seen fares fall by 40% and routes increase by 180%. Once Britain no longer belongs,,, those benefits could disappear and most likely will. Some airlines have already said that they will drop several routes.
And So Could the Value of the Pound
The U.S. dollar to the British pound has long been less than equal. But as soon as the vote’s outcome was declared in June,, the pound began a steep decline, and has since depreciated some 18%. That meant an initial rise in the cost of travel for UK residents, but made travel to the UK cheaper for US visitors. For visitors , the pound slump has other pros. The UK is now one of the most affordable markets for luxury goods in the world, and foreign visitors spent 161 million more in UK shops in December 2016 than they did in December 2015.
The UK Could See Fewer International Visitors
London is one of the most popular cities ,,, and outside of the capital, everthing from tiny, picturesque towns to the magnificent Scottish Highlands draw tourists from around the world. According to Travelzoo, enthusiasm for travel to the UK may decrease in the wake of Brexit. Already there are rumblings all over Europe. It is estimated that the tourism industry could loose as much as $5.9 billion annually in international travel. That is going to hurt !!!!!
How will Passport Policies Play Out
In the next two years Of Brexit talks,,,, not much is expected to change at borders — at least for US travelers,,, Americans must still present a valid passport at customs when entering the UK and EU member states. Come March of 2019, however, travelers from European and UK countries may see changes in their visa- free travel and at foreign borders.
My family is travelling next year to all the UK countries. Here is hoping we will not have any problems along the way.