Britain and the European Union might part ways
‘Brexit’ is the current buzzword that refers to Britain’s exit from the European Union. After a referendum held on 23 June 2016, the people of the United Kingdom voted not to remain a member of the European Union (the political and economic union of 28 countries in Europe). Now, more than two years later, the exit negotiations are coming to an end and the UK and European Union are reaching a draft deal. The negotiations need to end by 29 March 2019, when the United Kingdom is set to formally launch all Brexit processes.
At the moment there is quite a bit of uncertainty around how the final deal will affect trade, migration and border control. As such, we’ve decided to answer the common questions prospective Expat Explore travellers have raised about Brexit.
I’ve booked a tour for 2019. How are the various Brexit results likely to affect my travel plans?
At Expat Explore, our top priority is to ensure that our tours run with minimal disruptions. Currently, it looks like the UK will permit EU busses and coaches to continue bringing passengers into and out of the UK. Our tours will proceed as scheduled and we are putting contingency plans in place to prepare for logistical challenges that may arise in the immediate short term after 29 March 2019. This could mean that we might have to partially amend certain itineraries. If this happens, you will most definitely be notified.
The one thing you can be sure of is that our team has plans in place for our tours to always run as scheduled. This is our top priority.
How about departing and arriving in London specifically around 29 March 2019?
We believe that if there are any disruptions at British borders, it will be temporary. As stated above, these will only affect the tours scheduled to leave or arrive in London in the immediate days after the current Brexit date (29 March 2019). We remain hopeful that the EU and UK will come to an agreement before this date and that our tours will not be affected at all. We can recommend that you contact your airline a couple of weeks before your departure and ask for an update on the current state of affairs.
Will I have to pay more for my tour?
The cost of your tour will not be increased. Your expense of travel might be more (or less) because of currency shifts in this time.
Should I change my flights?
Getting in and out of the UK around March 29th might be more challenging than at other times. At the moment, major airports in London operate very efficiently because citizens from the EU are able to enter without restrictions. If the EU and Britain part ways, EU travellers will have to join other nationalities in the non-UK queue.
Flights that depart and arrive on or soon after the 29th of March may be affected in this way, and if you want to avoid the potential congestion, you may consider amending your flights. You can also consider flying to a country in Europe as an alternative departure point for your tour. The Expat Explore booking team is available to help you decide what your best options are and how to meet up with your tour group there.
How do I know if this affects my visa(s) and/or passport?
Visa rules and regulations will remain the same. As always, passengers with valid passports and the correct visa(s) will be allowed to travel from London to all countries in and around Europe. Brexit does not have an effect on visa policies of the Schengen Region.
There is, therefore, no reason to be alarmed if you are planning to travel to Europe. All our British travellers are advised to ensure that their passports are valid for 6 months after the dates they travel with Expat Explore.
As always, we prompt all our travellers to check all passport and visa regulations before undertaking an international trip. This is no different. No matter which passport you hold, take the time to research visa and passport regulations for any and all borders you will cross in the course of your journey. It largely depends on your country of origin and where you are going.
RELATED: Read more about visa information for your tour, here.
What about my departure point?
All our tours to Europe, the UK and Ireland are still guaranteed to depart from designated departure points in London, Amsterdam, Dublin, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Rome and Venice (as stated in the Tour Help Section). Like mentioned above, if your tour departs or arrives in London end of March/beginning of April, you can consider changing your starting point to Europe, rather than London.
The Expat Explore Promise
Europe is still one of the safest places in the world to travel to. It has excellent public transport, cultural diversity and amazing experiences for travellers from all walks of life – none of this has changed. We promise to keep bringing you expertly planned, fabulous tours to the UK and Europe, and will continue to keep you up to date with changes in policies, visas or border controls.
As always, we have your best interests at heart and promise to keep you well informed on this topic as more information becomes available. If you’ve booked a tour with us, and you wish to speak to anyone on our team about Brexit, please let us know. We’re happy to answer any questions and concerns you may have and provide you with expert assistance throughout the planning phase of your journey. It’s important to us that you have peace of mind when you embark on your tour.