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How Brexit is Affecting Travel

Ever since the UK voted to leave the European Union, the effects have been felt in many aspects of European life, not the least of which is the travel industry. Brexit, the term that has been adopted to refer to the decision to leave, has left people uncertain about the future of travelling both to and from England, as well as in other areas around the world. Though Britain has not yet officially left the EU, the impacts of the decision are already impacting trade and travel in this part of the world, as people prepare for the uncertain impact of this major change in policy. One of the benefits of membership in the European Union is the built-in travel agreements, called “Freedom of Movement rules,” between countries that make it easy for citizens of member countries to visit other member countries. Once this benefit is removed, British citizens will certainly face more difficulties when travelling, though various countries are taking steps to mitigate the decision’s impact.

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Perhaps the most immediate effect of the Brexit decision was a change in the value of the pound; before the decision, the pound was valued at $1.50, but its value has since dropped to $1.30. This is good news for Americans looking to vacation in Britain, as it means that their money has more spending power in that country. However, citizens of the U.K. looking to travel around the world will find that their travel expenses will increase as a result of Brexit. Though no one yet knows for sure what the full economic impact of Britain leaving the EU will be, economists have predicted that Brexit will continue to have a negative impact on the Europearn economy as a whole, meaning these travel difficulties for British citizens aren’t going away anytime soon.

Despite the efforts of countries like Spain, however, Brexit is sure to have negative impacts on the travel experience no matter what.

In light of the problems posed by Brexit, several popular tourist destinations have implemented programs designed to encourage travel in order to protect their tourism industries. Spain, for instance, which is a popular vacation destination among Europeans, has announced a “plan B” to try to mitigate travel difficulties in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Under this plan, Spain hopes to strike a treaty with the UK after the country leaves the European Union in order to continue to allow British vacationers to visit Spain without substantial change to the travel process. Behind closed doors, government officials are negotiating the terms of this treaty, even though no one knows for sure the details of Britain’s eventual departure from the EU yet. As many local businesses in Spain depend on tourism for their livelihood, and as many of the country’s visitors come from the U.K., Spain is prioritizing ensuring travel between the countries adapts to Brexit as smoothly as possible.

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Despite the efforts of countries like Spain, however, Brexit is sure to have negative impacts on the travel experience no matter what. As the UK has been a member of the EU for several decades, many of the country’s laws, especially those dealing with other European countries, are directly tied to the EU, and severing these ties will lead to all manner of headaches. For instance, laws concerning roaming services for cell phone usage while abroad will have to be rewritten after Brexit, and changes to rules concerning air travel are likely to cause longer wait times in airports as well as preventing some people from traveling. Currently, UK passports are emblazoned with the words “European Union,” and while the government has said that British citizens will not be immediately required to renew their passports after Brexit, the future of the system for issuing passports is unknown.