01 July, 2016

European Union referendum implications

I refused to use the term 'brexit' at the top of this article - is it really to much for people to say British exit rather than use a stupid phrase like that? Anyway, that aside there has been a lot of scaremongering in both the build-up to the referendum and since the result was announced.

One of the main questions for me was - how will it affect travel around Europe for those of us who love spending our time off there? Long term, there will no doubt be big changes, but in the short term, the fact sterling has dropped to its lowest level for years means we'll feel the pinch that little bit more.

Cheap flights have been one of the biggest benefits of membership of the European Union, and since 1994 EU airlines have been free to fly between any two points in Europe. That meant companies such as Ryanair have flourished, and fares have dropped to around 50% of what they were in the 1990s. The referendum result means British airlines such as easyJet could have their freedom curtailed, but hopefully with London such an aviation hub, something can be negotiated to keep our freedom of the skies.

Using our phones abroad could cost more. Excessive roaming charges are going to be cut in the EU, and hopefully the UK government will maintain that going forward. There's likely to be no rush for a new non-EU passport - these are likely to be phased in when your documents are up for renewal.

European Health Insurance cards (or EHICs) mean we have the same entitlement to public health case on the same basis as locals in EU countries. Before the EU, the UK had several agreements with many European nations and hopefully similar deals will be made with EU members. If not, expect travel insurance to increase.

All in all there are many unknowns about Britain's exit from the EU, but expect two years or so of speculation, and more scaremongering as we step into the unknown!

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