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Post-Brexit travel: What will Brexit mean for British holidaymakers?

Britain is set to leave the European Union in 2019. There are many aspects of the UK's future relationship with the EU which are still unclear. These include trade, how much Briton will need to pay to leave, and what travel rights citizens will have. Post-Brexit travel could all change and British holidaymakers may not be able to enjoy all the freedoms they currently have.

Currently, Britons can freely travel to all of the countries in the EU without obtaining a visa or seeking any type of travel authorization. It is not clear whether this will continue post-Brexit. At the moment there are many countries whose citizens can visit the EU for periods of up to 90 days. These countries include the USA and Australia.

Unless the UK Government can reach a special agreement with the EU it seems likely Britain will join this list. This would mean holidaymakers will be able to travel to the EU for short periods but will need a visa to travel to the continent for durations of over 90 days.

However, in January 2020, the EU is introducing  ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) which will fundamentally change Europe's visa policy.

Citizens from the 60 eligible countries will need to complete an online application form. It will involve entering some basic information such as name, address, and date of birth. There will also be some security-related questions. Unless an agreement is made to the contrary, Britons will also need to apply for an ETIAS visa to visit countries in the Schengen Area.

Will Brexit "increase cost and red tape"?

Speaking in the House of Lords, Baroness Ludford (the Liberal Democrat's Brexit spokeswoman) warned that Brexit will cause problems for Britons who want to go to the continent. She said that they may have to pay significant fees and face four-day waits to receive travel authorization.

She said: "All a British citizen needs to do at present to go on holiday to Spain or business in Germany is to present a passport at the border...If we Brexit they will have to apply for an ETIAS, similar to a US ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation)."

"And this will require the supply of biometric data, details of health, criminal record and previous immigration history." She said.

She asked: "Has the government leveled, when will it level, with the British people about how this is another example of Brexit increasing cost and red tape? Isn't it another reason why the British people should be able to choose to exit from Brexit?"

Brexit Minister Lord Callanan responded "No it isn't, my Lords...We are still to have the discussions with the EU on the future relationship in terms of how people will travel backwards and forwards, so when we've had those discussions when we've reached a conclusion, we will be sure to let her know."

How will British passports change?


The color of the British passport is set to change from burgundy to navy blue. The original 1921 issue of the British passport was blue. It changed to burgundy when the UK joined the EU in 1973 to conform with its new continental partners. The cover will also change to a 'hard cover' and the words "European Union" will vanish.

The UK currently has one of the most powerful passports in the world. Britons can enter 159 countries without the need for a visa. The most powerful passport in the world is Germany's, which grants visa-free entry to 161 countries. Britons will hope that they will be able to travel to as many countries post-Brexit as they can now. This remains to be seen.