'No immediate changes' to travel regulations after EU vote, says Abta

'No immediate changes' to travel regulations after EU vote, says Abta

No immediate change in European regulations is expected in the face of the UK vote to exit the European Union, according to Abta.

The association said: “It cannot be doubted that we are now moving into a period of uncertainty, although in regulatory terms we will not see any immediate changes.

“Once the UK formally notifies the EU of its intention to leave, the remaining member states will have up to two years to offer the UK a deal for a future trading relationship.

“This period can also be extended if all parties agree. Until this process is resolved, everything will remain as it is now.”

Abta added that its role was to help keep members informed, to help consumers remain confident in travelling, “and to help government to understand and prioritise those matters that are important to our members and our industry”.

“Abta will be working proactively with government to raise awareness of the priorities for travel businesses, and UK travellers, as they negotiate a future trading relationship,” Abta said.

“We started this process some months ago, with a programme of engagement with ‘leave’ campaigners in Westminster, and we have prepared a detailed list of policy and regulatory priorities that we will be discussing with leading policymakers in the coming weeks.

“It will also be important to ensure that the industry’s domestic agenda is not neglected, and Abta will continue to press for action on airport capacity, Atol reform, which remains relevant whatever the future of the Package Travel Directive, and Air Passenger Duty.”

Abta said the fall in the value of pound would have an “immediate impact on holidaymakers and their spending power overseas”


The association has put together the following Q&A around the implications and effects of Brexit.

How will Brexit affect my holiday?
Until the UK officially leaves the EU, not sooner than two years’ time, there will be no changes to holiday arrangements. Travellers are as free to move between the UK and the EU as they were before the vote, European Health Insurance cards remain valid and regulations such as Air Passenger Rights remain in place.

I’m going to Europe this summer, is my passport still valid?
Yes. Until the UK officially leaves the EU, not sooner than two years’ time, there will be no changes to passports.

I’ve booked a holiday for next year – do I need to do anything?
No. Until the UK officially leaves the EU, not sooner than two years’ time, there will be no changes to holiday arrangements.

Do I need to get a new passport?
No. Until the UK officially leaves the EU, not sooner than two years’ time, there will be no change to passport arrangements.

Which queue will I go into at the airport – EU passports or all others?
The same queue as you did before the vote. Until the UK officially leaves the EU, not sooner than two years’ time, there will be no change to passport arrangements.

Do I need a visa to go to Spain?
No. Until the UK officially leaves the EU, not sooner than two years’ time, there will be no change to passport arrangements.

What about my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
You can still use your EHIC card abroad. There will be no immediate changes to using your EHIC card abroad. Arrangements between the UK and other EU countries will have to be reached once the UK officially leaves the EU.

Can I still get compensation if my flight is delayed or cancelled?
Yes. There will be no immediate changes to claiming compensation if your flight is delayed or cancelled. The UK Government will need to implement a new law on compensation for flight delays and compensation after we leave the EU.

What about duty free? Can I still bring goods home?
You can still bring home unlimited goods until we officially leave the EU. The free movement of goods will be part of a negotiated settlement with the EU.

What about using my mobile phone abroad? Will roaming charges increase?
There will be no immediate changes to using your phone abroad, and there won’t be an immediate impact on charges. The UK Government will need to implement a new law on roaming charges after we leave the EU, otherwise the service providers will be free to set roaming charges.

Can I still take money out from cashpoints abroad?
Yes, you can continue to take out cash, as normal.

Will it be more expensive to go on holiday abroad?
Not necessarily. If you are travelling abroad and you have already paid for all of your travel arrangements, as part of a package holiday for example, then you will be protected to a large degree from a drop in the value of the pound. However, your spending power while abroad will be impacted in the event of a weaker pound, making it more expensive to buy things like meals and drinks.

What does this mean for the price of my holiday abroad?
If you are travelling abroad and you have already paid for all of your travel arrangements, as part of a package holiday for example, then you will be protected to a large degree from a drop in the value of the pound. People paying for overseas accommodation in other currencies (e.g. in euros or dollars) can expect to pay more in the event of a weaker pound.

Will the cost of flights increase?
A weaker pound may impact the cost of flights in the short term, in the longer term the UK Government will seek to negotiate full access to the EU’s common aviation market, which has delivered the open skies arrangements we have today.

My travel company has asked me to pay more for my holiday due to the currency fluctuations. Is that ok?
Check the terms and conditions of the organiser that you’ve booked with. If you’ve booked a package holiday this is covered by certain rules: the maximum surcharge by law is up to 10% of the original cost of the holiday. If you haven’t booked a package, you should check the terms and conditions of your travel arrangement.

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