For those in the United Kingdom and all of Europe, the idea of Brexit has been on people’s minds for years. With such a big change coming soon, many lives are sure to be impacted. In fact, travel to and within Europe will also be affected by Brexit. That’s why we wanted to take the time to discuss the impact of Brexit and how travel managers should react to the change.
What is Brexit?
After a referendum back in June of 2016, the UK government officially voted to leave the European Union. The EU is an economic and political union that includes 28 countries to easily trade and move people without hassle. The UK originally joined back in 1973 but is now setting the stage to leave on Jan. 31, 2020.
With such a big change on the horizon, we wanted to discuss the impact Brexit has on traveling and how travel managers should react.
Airline travel between the UK and EU will be mostly unaffected for now, but travel between the two could be subject to delays and disruption. If there is a “hard Brexit,” border control at airports and Eurostar stations will likely be impacted the most, even for those traveling for business.
In this scenario, travel managers should advise all travelers to allow plenty of time to transit through all regulatory processes, which applies to travelers from all countries.
- UK citizens will have to renew their passport if, on the day of travel, the passport has less than six months left or is more than nine years and six months old. After the Brexit changes, passport processing times could be significantly longer than they currently are for travelers.
In this scenario, travel managers should make sure all travelers are aware of these new restrictions and encourage them to allow plenty of time for passport renewal.
- UK citizens may need to acquire an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive within the EU. If a traveler intends to take their own company vehicle, a “green card” (from the insurers) and a GB sticker will be mandatory.
In this scenario, travel managers should ensure all travelers are aware of additional requirements and take immediate action should there be a need.
- Mobile roaming data may end. After Brexit, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will come to an end. Going forward, the decision on how to handle data charges post-Brexit will be at the discretion of individual operators.
In this scenario, travel managers should check the company telephone contractual usage policy and ask all travelers to check their own telephone contract policy to avoid financial charges they weren’t expecting.
- Travel insurance costs may increase if the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is discontinued or amended in some way.
In this scenario, travel managers should check your company travel insurance policy and get all travelers to check their own insurance cover in relation to any withdrawal of the EHIC scheme.
With the official Brexit day coming soon, we hope these potential changes and solutions help lessen the impact of Brexit for both travelers and travel managers.
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