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Working abroad can either be a fun experience or perhaps a bit of a chore, depending on the way you look at it - but how could Brexit actually impact UK business travellers?

From the moment the decision to leave the European Union by the UK became a reality; the question on many business travellers minds was the impact Brexit could have on travellers from Europe to the UK, and vice versa. At Holiday Extras, along with providing comprehensive travel insurance, we also aim to provide you with helpful information to ensure your travel is as smooth as possible - both before and after Brexit! Get your briefcase ready and let your business travel be more about fun and less about hassle!

How will Brexit affect UK business travellers?

We can confirm the UK has entered a transition period following the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement on 31st January 2020. There will be no changes to how UK business travellers and tourists visit the EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein until at least 31st December 2020. Including no changes to the following:

  • passports,
  • driving abroad,
  • EHIC cards and
  • pet travel etc.

Provided you have an up to date European Health Insurance Card, you can still access state medical care in any EU country during 2020. Please be aware though that this can be quite limited and we advise taking out a travel insurance policy with sufficient medical cover before you start your journey. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, read further information on whether your EHIC card will be valid.

How will Brexit affect UK Business travellers

How could Brexit affect freedom of movement?

Freedom of movement of people is a founding principle of the European Union and it is seen as the cornerstone of the concept of European citizenship, respected in the Treaty for the European Union. It guarantees the rights of everyone in all EU member states (plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) to live, travel and work in any other country within the group of EU Member States.

The UK government is proposing to end free movement, but this is only subject to approval by parliament. The EU has ensured consistent rules for employers and employees when operating or working across the EU. The future applicability of these rules will be dependent on the outcome of negotiations on a future UK-EU relationship.

Until the end of December 2020, not much will change for business travellers between Europe and the UK. There will continue to be freedom of movement and people, and goods will also move freely. The Association of British Travel Agents [ABTA] says travellers can move freely between Europe and the UK as before the vote. You will be able to move through UK ports and airports as usual, using the EU/EEA passport gates.

If you are a UK business traveller and you plan to drive in the EU don't worry, you won't need an International Driving Permit. Plus, if you're taking your own car, you won't need a Green Card for Insurance during this period of time either.

Will you need a visa to work in the EU after Brexit?

As a business traveller you can continue to travel and work without a visa during the transition period. You will be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180 day period. There is a possibility though that you'll need a visa or permit to stay and work for longer. If you're an Irish citizen you'll still be able to enter to work or study, without a visa.

According to the UK Government website, what you need to show at a UK border will not change for this transition period. You will still need to show a valid passport or national identity card if you're a citizen of either of the following:

  • an EU country
  • Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein

At some airports you can use your automatic ePassport or biometric passport if your passport has a chip, and you're 12 years or over. These ePassport gates tend to be much faster. If you're not a citizen of an EU country, or one of the countries listed above, you'll need to show a valid passport. You do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU throughout 2020, however you passport does need to be valid for the whole of your trip.

For more information please visit our comprehensive guide to whether you will need a visa for Europe.

Will there be mobile phone roaming charges after Brexit?

Currently the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same as the UK, under EU rules and this will continue as normal throughout 2020. The great news is that several UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers after we leave the EU!

For further information visit our guide for what will happen to roaming charges after Brexit.

If you're still concerned about your travel post-Brexit then visit the UK government website to see if you need to act now to ensure you can continue to travel as planned.

All information correct as of February 2020. Sources: the UK Government website and The Association of British Travel Agents website.

Further information on Brexit

If you found this guide for business travel useful, then read through our other articles for further information to help you Brexit-proof your next holiday!

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Holiday Extras Cover Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 828848.

Holiday Extras™ is a Trading Name of Holiday Extras Cover Limited

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is provided by Taurus Insurance Services, an insurance intermediary licenced and authorised in Gibraltar by the Financial Services Commission under Permission Number 5566 and authorised to passport general insurance intermediary services into the UK and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under registration number 444830.

The insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE. Great Lakes Insurance SE is a German insurance company with its headquarters at Königinstrasse 107, 80802 Munich. UK Branch office: 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, EC3M 5BN, company number SE000083. Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch, is authorised and regulated by Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht. Deemed authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number: 769884. Subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.