The United Kingdom made history on June 23, 2016, by voting to leave the European Union in a referendum by British voters (“Brexit”). There are many implications social, financial and otherwise. Here we try to unpack them.
The world watched in shock on June 24, 2016, when it was revealed that British voters had chosen to exit the European Union. The idea of a common market and common currency took hold in 1975. Since then a number of things have occurred to bring the question to a vote as it did.
Regardless of what your politics are, there are far-reaching implications of Brexit that will affect all of us and many of them are still unfolding. Here are some of the things you should know, particularly if you are a traveler:
Timeline: Changes made as a result of the referendum will not actually be implemented for two years, but the financial and social implications of Brexit are already being felt.
Currency: While the global markets have taken a hit after the vote, it’s the pound that has fallen the hardest, to a 30-year low. While the economic turmoil is unnerving, it’s a good time to travel to the UK or buy pounds.
Visas: The UK was actually never on the same visa scheme as many of the EU nations (schengen) so no real change on that front. You will still need to pass through passport control as you enter and exit any of these countries. There is fear in the future that lines at immigration which usually separated EU nationals from other passport holders will become longer.
Passports: If you hold an EU passport, the validity is not expected to change until the negotiations are complete, which will be in a couple of years.
Airfares: There is expected to be a rise in airfares post-Brexit as airlines face a fall in the stock market, tougher cross-border regulations in the future, and huge fluctuation in the workforce.
The travel association ABTA cautions that if travel companies ask you to pay more for a prepaid package to cover the currency fluctuations, the maximum surcharge allowed is 10% of the value of the package.
All in, there’s no questions that the implications of the Brexit vote will be far-reaching. In the meantime, if you’re traveling to Europe this summer, be prepared to read and hear a lot more about it.