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Brexit Advice – March 2019

**Advice Updated: 0800 on 11 April 2019**

On 10 April 2019 the EU and UK have agreed a new timeline;

  • A Brexit extension “only as long as necessary” and “no longer than 31 October” to allow for the ratification of the withdrawal agreement
  • The UK “must hold the elections to the European Parliament” and if it fails to do this, the UK will leave on 1 June
  • The European Council reiterates there can be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement negotiations

In the event of a no-deal Brexit there could be significant impact on your travel management programme.

The guidelines below will help you make decisions to minimise disruption for your business and crucially for your travellers.

The official UK Government Guidelines can be found at https://euexit.campaign.gov.uk/

Border Controls

From the date the UK leaves the EU there could be significant disruption at borders when travelling between the UK and the EU.

Passport and security queues designated for EU nationals might not be able to be used by UK passport holders, and vice versa. New customs arrangements at ports and airports might similarly cause knock-on delays.
Travellers should allow additional time in their travel plans for increased passport and security checks, as well as the impact of knock-on delays when travelling between the UK and the EU.

Visa-free travel throughout the Schengen Area may no longer be permitted for travellers on a UK passport, depending on whether the UK is designated as a third country for the purposes of the Schengen Area or added to the list of exempt countries. It is expected that, should the UK be designated as a visa free country, authorisation to enter the Schengen Area will be through the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), effective from 2021.

Air Transport

As of the withdrawal date, the UK will automatically cease to be covered by air transport agreements of the EU. The majority of UK passenger traffic is regulated by air services agreements negotiated at an EU level. These agreements cover intra-EU air traffic as well as the UK’s links with certain third countries such as the USA. Continuation of these services depends on the UK securing the necessary access rights. Grounding most flights in and out of the UK is clearly not an option. The Commission and the UK Government have therefore discussed a “bare-bones” agreement in the event of a ‘no deal’ which would allow the continuation of direct flights between the EU and the UK and possible access rights for relevant third countries during a transition period.

Rail Transport

Travel on Eurostar and Eurotunnel will continue to run even if there’s no deal. Travellers should allow extra time for travel as there are likely to be increased border control checks.

Ferry Transport

Even if there’s no deal, ferries and cruises will continue to run. Travellers should allow extra time for travel as there are likely to be increased border control checks.

Passports and Visas

Passport validity periods might also change. UK passport holders should make sure their passports have at least 6 months validity remaining on the date they arrive in the EU and any adult passport older than 9 years and 6 months may not be accepted for entry into the EU.

Driving Licences

Drivers from the UK may need a different international driving permit (IDP) to drive abroad.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK drivers may also need an IDP and extra documentation to drive in the EU and EEA.

The official UK Government Guidelines can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-to-drive-in-the-eu-after-brexit

Travel Insurance and Health

Whether there’s a deal or not, you should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad. If there’s no deal, your EHIC card may not be valid.

Data Protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has set out 6 steps and further guidance your business should take to prepare for EU exit in a no deal scenario.

You should:

  1. Continue to comply with GDPR rules and follow ICO guidance.
  2. Review your data flows into the UK from the EEA and consider the GDPR safeguards you will need to put in place.
  3. Review your data flows from the UK so that you can document the new basis for these transfers under UK transfer rules.
  4. If you operate across Europe, you should assess how the UK’s exit from the EU will affect the data protection regimes that apply to you.
  5. Review the privacy information and internal documentation that you hold to identify any details that will need updating.
  6. Make sure that key people in your organisation are aware of these issues and include these steps in any planning for leaving the EU.

Taxation

The EU rules on VAT will no longer apply as of the withdrawal date. However, the impact on the taxation treatment of services provided by MIDAS Travel will be minimal as the main VAT ‘place of supply’ rules will continue to apply in broadly the same way for UK businesses that they do now. Clients will continue to receive UK compliant VAT invoices from MIDAS Travel.

If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, UK business will no longer have access to the EU VAT refund system. UK businesses will be able to claim refunds of VAT from Member States using the existing processes for non-EU businesses. This process varies across the EU and businesses will need to make themselves aware of the processes in the individual countries where they incur costs and want to claim a refund.

Data Roaming & Call Charges

The UK Government has provided guidelines in the event of a no-deal Brexit

In the event that we leave the EU without a deal, the costs that EU mobile operators would be able to charge UK operators for providing roaming services would no longer be regulated after  the withdrawal date. This would mean that surcharge-free roaming when you travel to the EU could no longer be guaranteed. This would include employees of UK companies travelling in the EU for business.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mobile-roaming-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/mobile-roaming-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

General Disruption

We anticipate that in the event of a no deal Brexit there will be a considerable level of disruption at borders. The wider impacts are not yet known. MIDAS Travel advises keeping up-to-date with breaking news nearer to the withdrawal date. We will notify travellers of any known disruption to their services. MIDAS Travel monitors traveller movements and supplier notifications 24/7/365.

Contact MIDAS Travel

Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your Account Manager by phone or email