Us Britonians have been asked to vote on whether our Kingdom should remain as part of the European Union, or whether we should get the heck out of there, leave the organisation and regain our former glory as as a truly independent nation. Brexit. We must make our decision tomorrow, 23rd June 2017.
Would the annual pilgrimage to France become too costly if we Brexit?
The impacts of leaving would be massive, but as wave hungry travelling surfers, how will we be affected?
According to the super reliable David Cameron, the cost of a family summer holiday to the most popular EU destinations would rise by £230 if Britain votes for Brexit.
Ok, £230? I’m sure these figures are open for debate and as there haven’t been any pre-agreed terms in the case of a Brexit a lot of what we are reading online, including this, is speculation. Even David Cameron can’t predict that the family trip to Biarritz will go up 200 bucks, but I do think we can expect the price of a holiday to go up a notch, as leaving the EU could result in national panic, which could see the value of the pound plummet against the euro.
This will therefore make your money abroad, worth less, so that €400 bargain board in Capbreton could cost more than buying it back home and the post surf sagres down in Lagos will be similarly priced to a pint of after-work IPA at home.
Regarding the cost of travel itself new air service agreements might have to be negotiated, competition could be reduced and fares could rise. However it is worth remembering that we have been completely spoilt by budget airlines over the past decade; since Easyjet launched fares have reduced by 40%.
We may also lose the fast-track EU lines at passport control, but it’s highly unlikely that we’ll need a Visa to go to Santander. If this does put you off, maybe it’s time to do that Scotland or Ireland trip you’ve been talking about for all those years.
Holidays at home are underrated.
Another cost that is likely to rise is the increasingly-annoying mobile phone charges. Pressure from the EU has meant that the costs of using our phones in Europe has gone down and now seem close to reasonable and roaming charges will be abolished completely by 2017. As it’s taken so long to get this far, if we are no longer in the EU, it doesn’t take an idiot to see that they will jump straight back up again.
On the flip side, we will hopefully be able to just buy a local sim card like in Asia/ Australia etc and our local mobile phone usage will be even cheaper. Winning.
We could see fewer holiday health benefits as the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles UK citizens to free or reduced-cost treatment in other EU countries. So unless you have travel insurance, which you really really should, that board to the head could leave you in much more pain than just a headache. But again, good travel insurance will cover a whole heap of ailments all over the globe.
Usually a great way to recoup some of the holiday spending money is to bring as many as 800 cigarettes, 110 litres of beer and 90 litres of wine, without raising the eyebrows of UK Customs. But booze cruises and the classic car stock up of Vino and Baccy in France will probably be a thing of the past as it is safe to assume that our allowance will be drastically reduced.
However, Brexit would see the return of Duty-Free shopping. A light at the end of the (euro) tunnel.
Whatever happens, nothing is going to change immediately. The UK’s departure won’t actually take effect for at least two years, so our passport, driving licence and European Health Insurance Card will continue to function exactly as they do now and the rules on mobile roaming will remain the same this summer, even the EU-wide elimination of roaming charges next June will take effect.
So make sure you read the facts, ignore the tabloids and come to an educated decision on whether to stay or Brexit. If you have any thoughts on this matter, please do comment below.