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Brexit approved: What about travel to the UK?


The travel and tourism industry in the UK and the rest of the European Union has been bracing for this moment. The UK formally will leave the European Union (EU) at 23:00 on Friday, 31 January.

However, the UK will immediately enter an 11-month transition period.

Flights, boats and trains will operate as usual.

During the transition, the UK will continue to obey EU rules. Most things will stay the same but there will be some changes.

VAT taxation rules will remain the same. British busses will be able to operated in the EU.

Tourists traveling between the U.K. and other EU countries will still be able to avoid British Customs. EU citizens will be allowed to go through UK Borders using the EU lane. British citizens will be allowed to use EU entry lanes into EU countries.

The currency in Britain remain to be the British Pound. Aviation taxes will remain. Britain will start issuing blue colored passports again without the word European Union. Announcing the change in 2017, then Immigration Minister, Brandon Lewis, praised the return to the iconic blue and gold design first used in 1921.

The new colour will be phased in over a number of months, with all new passports issued in blue by the middle of the year.

About three million commemorative 50p Brexit coins bearing the date “31 January” and the inscription: “Peace, prosperity, and friendship with all nations”, will enter circulation on Friday. Some Remain supporters saying they will refuse to accept it.

The government had planned to introduce a similar coin on 31 October, the date Brexit was previously meant to happen. However, those coins had to be melted down and recycled after the deadline was extended.

For tourism not much will change, but within a year rules will be adjusted and major changes could be expected.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.