So Brexit is now a reality!
While the multiple political and economic ramifications of this event will continue to unfold and cause major upheavals to the markets, if you are like me, the first thing that may have occurred to you is how this event is going to impact your travel to either the UK or Europe.
So here’s a quick lowdown on what Brexit could mean for travellers to this region.
First & foremost – Stay calm and Carry on! The UK’s departure would not take effect for at least for a year or two. Because, that is how long it is expected to take for the UK and European Union to renegotiate various agreements of trade and commerce. In the interim, all relations and regulations between the UK and EU countries will remain legally exactly the same.
However, expect to see the following to start unravelling pretty soon:
Currency: Perhaps, the biggest and most immediate impact for travellers will be the devaluation of the pound. Bank of England has forecast that the pound would lose 12-15 per cent of its value – not just against the euro, but against other major currencies. For travellers, that means visiting the UK at this time and for the near future will become significantly cheaper! Put another way, that cruise on the Thames and that bottle of Talisker are on SALE. Enough said?
A UK trip will burn a smaller hole in the pocket!
Visa: Not much will change here, for Indian travellers atleast. The UK was anyway not a part of the Schengen area i.e a separate Visa was required to travel to UK (Britain, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales). What may change though is those brutal queues to clear immigration & customs at UK airports will become even longer, when EU citizens, who till now had a separate line without any restrictions, would join the same lines as you and me!
Flights & Airfares: This may hurt! If you have been savvy enough to take advantage of the cheap connectivity to Europe offered by low cost airlines from the UK such as EasyJet and Ryan Air, Brexit is likely to complicate matters. The “Single Aviation Area” introduced by the EU gave these airlines freedom to fly across Europe and have led to airfare reduction estimated at around 40 per cent and a threefold increase in routes covered. With Brexit, new air service agreements might have to be negotiated, competition could be reduced and fares could rise again.
Mobile bills: Costs of using your phone in Europe have plunged in recent years, and roaming charges within the region are to be abolished entirely in June 2017. With Brexit, a UK number may lose the free roaming facility and likely have higher tariffs.
Shopping: Once a new trade regime comes into force, it can generally be expected that shopping in the UK for European goods and vice versa will get more expensive. Additionally, the EU has imposed caps on the Value Added Tax (VAT) on member countries. After Brexit, the UK will have no such restrictions and hence VAT on all your shopping at Selfridges and Harrods can possibly go up.
We will ofcourse do a separate blog and detailed analysis on the impact on Scotch supply, should Scotland decide to now exit the UK – Glenleavet, anyone!
In short, your UK holiday is on sale! Hoard on those pounds (i.e the currency) while they are down and if that’s not enough savings, you can always save big on your pre-travel shopping with Bragpacker! 🙂