Aviation & Brexit 99

A public petition that says: Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled, stands at over 1.6 million signatures.  It’s one indication of the level of public outrage that the UK Government has provoked by its latest actions.

Going back to the pre-referendum world, my years commuting back and forth between the UK and Germany had a few ups and downs.  Snow shutting runways, an engine failure, delays and boring evenings spent in departure lounges at Gatwick and Cologne airports.  That said, on average the experience was fine.  I got to know the interior of an Airbus A319 was well as anyone.  British Airways, EasyJet and Germanwings, now Eurowings use the aircraft.  It’s a fine modern aircraft for flights of around an hour.

So, what will routine business travel be like if Brexit goes ahead after the end of October?  Looking at what’s available, a November flight from London to Cologne can still be scoped up for under £100.  But it’s emerging that short work assignments to European Union (EU) Member States are not going to be so easy as in the past[1].

For a start checking your passport is an absolute must.  Gone are the days of jumping on a High-Speed Train with nothing more than a driver’s licence as ID.  I often travelled between Cologne and Brussels having left my passport at home.  Now, it’s essential to check you’ve got at least 6 months left on your passport from the start of any journey.

The EU has amended its regulations to allow visa-free travel for UK nationals for short stays of 90 days in any 180-day period.  Another Brexit effect is that UK nationals will no longer be able to use EU lanes at airports and ports.  Also, UK nationals may be asked about the duration, purpose of visit and their financial means when entering the EU[2].

There are official UK Government warnings about travel[3].  One of them concerns medical insurance.  UK nationals visiting the EU need to have private medical insurance after 31 October.  That may be difficult for those with pre-existing conditions who may be excluded from cover.   My free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will not be much use after Halloween[4].

EU leaders are due to meet for a summit in Brussels on 17 – 18 October, just a fortnight before the UK’s current withdraw date.  There’s a small chance that Brexit negotiations will bring about an agreement.  It is only a small chance.

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-13/advice-for-london-bankers-in-no-deal-brexit-refundable-tickets?

[2] Assuming a No Deal disorderly Brexit and continuing uncertainty

[3] https://twitter.com/DHSCgovuk/status/1167436816405979137?s=20

[4] https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-ehic-european-health-insurance-card/#

 

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