On Friday, January 31, 2020, the U.K. officially left the European Union and will no longer have any representation in the system, leaving business travelers wondering what this means for company travel throughout Europe.
For U.K. and U.S. citizens, very little should immediately change. After the exit, the U.K. will enter a transition period until at least December 2020, EU laws will still be upheld and U.S. passport holders traveling between U.K. and EU should not experience itinerary changes. U.K. citizens will be able to travel freely throughout EU member states as well.
“Passengers flying from the U.K. will continue to transfer to onward flights at EU airports without extra security screening. This will also be the case at airports in Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. There will be no impact to direct flights to non-EU countries,” stated the Office of Foreign & Commonwealth.
After the Transition
Things may change at the end of the transition period depending on the status of a permanent free trade agreement, security arrangements and immigration laws. Beginning January 2021, travelers visiting some European countries may need a visa or permit if planning to stay more than 90 days for work or business travel. Other possible changes include U.K. travelers using different lines at border control, needing an international driving permit and needing a special insurance card. These changes will make the average airport or car rental experience feel more congested, but won’t have any other grave consequences.
The good news for U.S. travelers is that it has been more economical to travel to Britain due to Brexit’s negative consequences on Britain’s economy and the fact that the value of the pound has fallen. Ultimately, there shouldn’t be many significant changes to be mindful of when it comes to traveling to U.K. post-Brexit for American and international travelers. It will be important to stay abreast of any new deals that arise after the transition period ends.