Travlaw Brexit Series – December 2018

Travlaw Solicitors & Association of Bonded Travel Organisers

Travel Industry Brexit Update – December 2018

In this Blog Post, drafting in conjunction with our friends at ABTOT, we look at whether December has been shaping up as expected on “the Brexit front” :

Fewer documents have been started, revised, started again, scrapped, started afresh than this Brexit update! As with all matters related to Brexit, it would be funny if the issues were not so serious, and so to this update.

Readers will have note that things have been moving fast in recent weeks, but in truth there are still a lot of unknowns. However, here is how we see things as of the time of writing for the travel industry and ABTOT members:

Practical Points…
  • Firstly, there have been a few “scare stories” recently, many of which are shockingly uninformed (putting it nicely). Yes, it’s hard to imagine that the immediate days after 29 March 2019 are not going to be testing – but it’s not the end of travel as we know it, or anything like it. We recommend you give a wide birth to any “The end is nigh” pieces – if they are not “Project Fear”, we are not sure what is…
  • Secondly, for those following our communications with the Department for Exiting the EU, we have continued to be in correspondence with them, but quite frankly they are clearly as confused as anyone, certainly about travel & tourism matters. Credit to them for continuing to respond to us, but the responses are now as out-of-date as they are formulaic.
  • As far as practical advice for the industry goes, we continue to recommend that all travel businesses have a plan – or better still two, one for “hard” Brexit, and one for, well, “not hard” Brexit. Thinking through the implications for your specific business is important, especially as what is probably going to happen starts to crystallise more firmly in the coming months. There are positive actions you can take to protect your business and minimise, if not eradicate, any impact on your customers. ABTOT members should take full advantage of the affiliate services on offer if they have any concerns about terms and conditions, risk assessments, crisis management or similar.
  • Lastly, talk of the need for a “definitely not a visa” for travel to EU member states this last week was probably later than it should have been. In our view there was always going to be a scheme like this. Time to call it what it is though – a visa system! As the UK has chosen to leave the EU, it is to be expected that there will be consequences to travellers wanting to visit post Brexit – but as barriers go this is just a minor financial annoyance and yet another form to fill in.

With any number of potential outcomes on the cards for the next couple of months (votes, general elections, more confidence motions, another referendum, more votes and so on) this really is a “stay tuned to this channel” message!

Matt Gatenby & Samantha Bradbury – Travlaw & ABTOT

 

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