Friday 17 January 2020 1:41 pm

Brexit will not affect holidays to the EU, says travel industry

The UK’s travel industry body has stressed “nothing will change” for British tourists booking holidays to the EU until the end of 2020. 

ABTA, which represents thousands of travel firms, discovered that one-third of Brits are unsure about the impact of Brexit on their travel plans. So it has updated its advice on how Brexit will affect UK holidaymakers as Britain prepares to leave the EU at the end of January. 

The country is set to enter an 11-month transition period after 31 January before Brexit is enacted, during which time EU rules will continue to apply for UK travel. 

That means passports can be used as normal and the cost of using your mobile phone abroad will remain the same. 

Travellers will also not need an International Driving Permit or GB sticker to drive in EU countries and European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) will remain valid.

Previous guidance suggested there could be change in these areas.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “The UK is primed to enter a new Brexit phase from 31 January, when trade talks begin, and when it does nothing will change when it comes to travel. 

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“People can continue to make their travel plans with confidence that things won’t change until at least the end of 2020.

“ABTA has been actively providing advice to travellers throughout the Brexit process and will continue to do so as the longer-term relationship with the EU becomes clearer.”

No advice is provided for travel in 2021 and beyond. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set a December 2020 deadline to negotiate a UK-EU trade deal that governs the powers’ future relationship.

Europe is the number one overseas holiday destination for UK travellers with more than 58m trips abroad each year. 

Meanwhile, European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said today that Britain will not automatically deport EU citizens who have not applied for the right to remain in the country after Brexit.

Fresh from talks with UK ministers like Brexit minister Stephen Barclay, Verhofstadt told the BBC that there will be a grace period for those who have not applied for settled status scheme by the June 2021 deadline.

“What will happen for those people even after the grace period? Well there will be no automatic deportation,” Verhofstadt said.

“After the grace period they will have a possibility to apply, giving the grounds why it was not possible to do it within the normal procedures.”

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