5 EU travel protections Brits will lose in a no-deal Brexit 🇬🇧

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1. Free calls and data roaming charges

image from travsim.com

In summer 2017 UK telephone operators were finally bound by EU laws to abolish roaming charges when travelling. So if you have a UK mobile and travelled to Spain then you can call home or use the internet at exactly the same rates as you could back home.

Once a cliff-edge Brexit happens don’t be surprised to see the biggest network operators instantly slap roaming charges back. I mean, why would a for-profit enterprise waive free money instead of having an easy win for their shareholders?


2. Recognition of UK Driving Licences

Currently driving licences issued by any EU member country is recognised by all others. This will come to a grinding halt overnight on 29th March when UK-issued driving licences will cease to be recognised within the EU. For the sake of clarity, It does not matter what nationality you are, it matters what licence you hold.

Drivers will need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) issued by the AA, and beware there are two types applicable to different countries within the EU. There is the 1949 Geneva Convention version for driving in Ireland, Spain, Malta and Cyprus with a validity of 12 month, and there is the 1968 Vienna Convention version lasting 3 years for all other EU countries plus Norway and Switzerland.

In practical terms since Ireland, Malta and Cyprus are island countries you will not end up crossing a border with an invalid licence at hand. But if you ever cross the Portuguese-Spanish or Spanish-French or even Spanish-Andorran border then you will need to hold both versions of the IDP and pay twice.

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3. European Health Insurance Card

If you hold a European Health Insurance Card you are able to travel to any EU country and if you need any unplanned medical treatment in another EU country you will pay no more than a local resident there.

From no-deal Brexit day forwards you better make sure you have a good travel insurance ready because that’s going to all be gone.


4. EU261 flight delay compensation if flying on British airline

Image by Jason Tester, licenced under CC BY-ND 2.0

Currently all airlines departing the European Union must adhere to strict flight compensation rules in the even you arrive at your destination at least 3 hours late. However if you a travelling from a non-EU country to an EU destination then this only applies if the airline itself is registered in an EU country.

Therefore ALL flights departing the UK, wherever their destination, will no longer be liable to pay you in the event of a delay that is their fault.


5. Right to protection by any other EU embassy

If you are travelling to a country and ever get into trouble, e.g. you are raped, your partner strangled, get involved in a car crash, get kidnapped, etc. the first thing you must always do is notify the local embassy. However not all countries have a UK embassy in them and currently under EU laws you have the right to protection from any other EU country’s embassy such an event.

No longer after B-day. If something bad happens to you in another country and this happens then good luck sorting it out by yourself.

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