Brexit & Aviation 54

In these Blogs I’ve been writing about the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) and its impact on most aspects of civil aviation.  The way we (UK) are heading now, on 29th March 2019 at midnight CET (23h00 UK time) the UK will leave the EU regardless of the situation pertaining at the time.

Fortunately, even in the so called: “No Deal” situation the European Commission (EC) has a Contingency Action Plan[1] and says that UK airlines will be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU under certain conditions.   The UK has offered similar pledges for EU airlines and that should ensure the continuation of flights to and from the UK[2].

So, what might a typical traveller need to do on the day after Brexit?  Here’s a few things to think about if you are travelling to the EU after 29 March 2019:

Check the date when your passport expires. The UK recommends that you have 6-months left on your passport on the date of arrival in an EU Member State.

In the event of a No Deal Brexit:

  • A UK registered European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid. Check your travel insurance as it will need to be valid to access medical care when you are travelling in the EU;
  • A UK traveller wishing to drive in the EU will need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit in addition to having a full UK driving licence and
  • A UK traveller driving their own vehicle within the EU will be required to obtain and carry a physical Green Card for your UK car insurance to be valid in the EU.

It’s as well to have some financial reserves too.  Since the EU’s internal market for aviation was born there has been a revolution in European air travel.  Flight now costs are around 16 times less than they did in 1992.  If the UK is no longer a full member of that internal market prices will rise.

If your banking provider makes any changes to your UK accounts or credit cards you will need to know.  The expectation is that basic banking services will continue to be widely avaiable.  At the same time just about all Terms and Conditions will change.

There’s little good news to start the New Year.  Without a formal Withdrawal Agreement (WA) accepted by all, there will be no transitional period providing legal certainly, during which a new relationship with the EU can be negotiated.  I am sure, travel will not stop but the inevitability of additional costs for industry will certainly be passed on to the UK traveller.

Just as in that great hippy song “Big Yellow Taxi”, we will all be singing: “Hey now, now. Don’t it always seem to go. That you don’t know what you got. Til its gone.”

Technically, it would be difficult but not impossible to extend the Article 50 period for longer than an additional 3-month period, to 2 July 2019.  Don’t bet on it happening.

[1] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6851_en.htm

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/department-of-transport-responds-to-european-commission-contingency-action-plan

 

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