Brexit: Johnson says EU equivalence is ‘not sensible’ for UK
With Brexit talks coming down to the wire, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned Britons it may be time to get ready for a “no deal” departure from the EU. “There’s now the strong possibility we will have a solution that’s much more like an Australian relationship with the EU than a Canadian relationship with the EU,” he said in a pooled TV interview on Thursday.
“We’re not stopping the talks, we’ll continue to negotiate,” he continued.
“But looking at where we are, I do think it’s vital that everybody now gets ready for that Australian option.”
While this will have a major impact on areas including businesses and trade, what will it mean for holidays?
In recent days, there has been some suggestion the EU would ban British planes from flying into European destinations if Mr Johnson does not allow European fishing vessels access to UK waters.
However, according to Bloomberg, a contingency plan has been drawn up which will ensure aeroplanes can still fly even in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.
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The emergency measures will be limited to ensuring basic air and road connectivity for six months as long as the UK returns the offering for EU aircraft and hauliers, according to officials who requested they remain anonymous.
Despite this, there will be some changes ahead for Britons.
Though it is highly likely the current European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will become invalid for Britons whether there is a deal or not, a no deal almost certainly assures the card will become void.
The EHIC allows Britons to access health care that is equal to the medical care residents of the nation they are visiting are eligible for.
Once the UK has officially removed itself from the EU, Britons will no longer enjoy this safety net.
Instead, they will have to purchase robust travel insurance which includes medical coverage.
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The Government website warns: “If you are travelling in the European Economic Area or Switzerland during this time, you can apply for and continue to use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as you did before.
“The EHIC gives you the right to access emergency state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in those countries.
“The EHIC may not be valid from 1 January 2021. Make sure you get travel insurance that covers your needs, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition.”
Britons also face new rules when it comes to travel documents, including passports and international driving licenses.
These rules will come into play regardless of whether or not Mr Johnson agrees to a deal.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, BBC Newscast presenter and resident Brexit expert Adam Flemming warned “80 percent of stuff will change anyway” so Britons “will have to get used to it”.
He further urged Britons to ensure they have at least six months of validity left on their passport.
“If you go on holiday next year and you have only got a couple of months left you might be turned back at the border when you arrive,” he said.
“Also expect to be asked more questions about how long you are going to stay, do you have a return ticket, do you have enough money to support yourself while you are in the EU?”
The Government website further explains: “You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021.
“On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both have at least six months left; and be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left).
“If you do not renew your passport, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.”
Those hoping to drive in a foreign country may now have to apply for an international driving license, rather than using their UK one.
Britons should also be aware of the length of time they will legally be allowed to stay in a EU country without a visa.
“In terms of travel I think the big things people will notice is you won’t need a visa to travel to the EU on holiday but you may need a work permit of visa if you are going for work purposes to the EU,” continued Mr Flemming.
“And you will only be able to stay for 90 days out of every 180 day period on that visa-free scheme.
“So you won’t be able to go for months and months and months.”
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