Visas? Won’t be needed. Roaming charges? They’re gone for good: Six ways Brexit will NOT affect Brits visiting Europe, according to a travel firm CEO
- Holidaymakers are becoming increasingly concerned about travel post-Brexit
- But the head of an online train booking platform says people have nothing to fear
- Dave Ashton, of Loco2, gives his reasons why Brexit will hardly affect travellers
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With Britain set to leave the EU next year, travellers are becoming increasingly concerned about how it will affect their European holidays.
But Dave Ashton, the CEO of train booking platform Loco2, believes Brits have nothing to fear about post-Brexit travel.
Here he lists six common fears about post-Brexit European travel and the reasons why these concerns are, in his opinion, unjustified.
Dave Ashton, the CEO of train booking platform Loco2, believes Brits have nothing to fear about post-Brexit travel
1. Trains will be stopped from travelling to Europe
Many Brits travelling to the continent use Eurostar services from London to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.
But Mr Ashton says that these services suddenly stopping post-Brext ‘won’t happen’.
He explained: ‘Eurostar has a 70 per cent market share on the London to Paris and London to Brussels routes, and carries more than 10 million passengers annually.
‘Eurostar has a monopoly on train travel to and from the UK/Europe and their cross-border process is laid out clearly: all travellers must already pass through customs for both the UK and the EU before boarding a Eurostar train bound for the Channel Tunnel.
‘That process won’t change in the future.’
2. Brits will need visas to travel to Europe
Some argue that when Britain is no longer in the EU, Brits will find it harder to travel to Europe and may need a visa.
But Mr Ashton says: ‘Britons don’t need a visa to visit Europe today and – barring a catastrophic security or military problem – won’t need one in the future either.
‘In the two years since the Brexit vote no government of any European country has credibly suggested making it harder for Britons to travel there as a tourist.
Mr Ashton says he doesn’t foresee Brits needing to secure a visa in order to visit Europe post-Brexit
‘A new EU travel authorisation scheme, going live in 2020, will require visitors from outside the EU to register on a website and pay €7. The resulting Brexit impact is you might have to pay €7.’
3. Travel insurance costs will rise
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles UK citizens to free or reduced-cost treatment in EU countries but it is unclear if the scheme will stay in place after Brexit.
But Mr Ashton argues: ‘It doesn’t have the same benefits as travel insurance, but if you have one, many travel insurance policies will waive the excess payment on a claim.
‘This agreement may need to be renegotiated, which could impact prices for individual travel insurance policies.
‘But Brexit is unlikely to significantly impact the price of such policies, and few Britons buy them anyway.’
4. Huge mobile roaming costs will return
Roaming charges for mobile calls or data access were abolished in the UK and the EU in May 2017 and Mr Ashton doesn’t think they will return
Roaming charges for mobile calls or data access were abolished in the UK and the EU in May 2017.
And Mr Ashton explained: ‘Mobile network providers have been quick to reassure UK customers that they have no intention to go back to the days of closed networks based on national borders.
‘For example, last March Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said it would “not be very logical” for Brexit to drive the reintroduction of roaming charges for Britons traveling in Europe.
‘Mobile roaming charges for Britons in Europe are not coming back.’
5. Holidays will be more expensive
Holidaymakers have expressed concern that holidays could become too expensive due to exchange rates.
But Mr Ashton doesn’t see that happening, arguing: ‘Before June, investment bank Goldman Sachs predicted that a vote to leave the EU could hit sterling by as much as 20 per cent, with the pound dipping as low as $1.15 against the dollar and €1.05 against the euro.
‘Though there was a sharp decline in the pound’s value vs the Euro two years ago, since then the pound has held its value and there’s no reason to believe this will change.
‘In other words, the market has already absorbed the expectation of Brexit and there is no evidence to suggest Pan-European train (or air) ticket prices will rise post-Brexit.’
6. It will be more difficult to travel in Europe
Fears have been raised that customs and immigration checks for Brits at European entry points will turn into a long process.
But the CEO, says this ‘won’t happen’. He added: ‘Customs and immigration checks are already required for Brits when arriving in Europe (and arriving into the UK from Europe), and the idea that European countries would single out Britons for tougher border treatment post-Brexit is far-fetched.
‘We will simply continue to show our passports on arrival, as we do now.’
Fears have been raised that customs and immigration checks for Brits at European entry points will turn into a long process
Mr Ashton added: ‘Any fuss about Brexit leading to disrupted travel for Britons is just fear-mongering.
‘There is no point in guessing what might happen when everything is on hold – let’s just focus on the things that will remain the same (or pretty much the same) and be positive about our future holidays in 2019.
‘Plus, it’s been reported this week that the UK could prolong the transition period so we could be waiting a long time for there to be a final result.
‘Until we’re told to do otherwise, let’s continue to cover our holidays with travel insurance, take our passports where we need them, enjoy free mobile data, and remember to book your train in advance to get the cheapest tickets.’