Access could be blocked
Around 3.5 million UK business travellers and tourists could be barred from entering several European countries after 29th March if there is a no-deal Brexit.
Free Movement of People
Whilst the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union UK citizens can move freely between other member states. It is part of an initiative called the Schengen Zone.
On 30th March UK travellers will no longer be citizens of an EU member state and the rules of entry to the European Union will change.
Brits will be Third Nation Citizens
Travellers that are not citizens of a European Union state or a country which has signed-up to the Schengen Zone that allows for the free movement of workers between member countries usually have to have six months validity left on their passport when they enter a member country.
Last Day to Renew
Consumer group Which? has suggested that because it takes three weeks to renew a UK passport Friday 8th March is the last day for travellers to renew their passport and avoid falling fowl of the change in entry requirements.
Many people renew their passport before it expires and could until recently have up to nine months of the unused validity of the old document added to the validity of the new passport.
Which? has raised awareness of a Government warning that it may not be possible for this time carried over period of validity to count towards the six-month requirement after a no-deal Brexit.
This means that travellers with up to 15 months validity left on their passport could in theory be denied entry to many European Union countries.
Stranded at Departure
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine, said
“Millions of people could find their holiday plans disrupted or, worse yet, find themselves stranded at the departure gate and prevented from travelling altogether if they fail to renew their passport before the cut-off date.
“Anyone who thinks they might be affected should look to renew their passport today or if you already have travel plans in the near future, consider using the fast-track passport renewal service.”
Plan Your Passport Renewal
The Government has been working with partners in the travel and transport industries on an ongoing campaign to inform the public of these new rules, and the potential need to renew passports earlier than planned.
One of the consequences of Brexit is that there will be changes to the way in which we travel to Europe.
Employers should use the Government’s online passport checker for information on how European travel by their employees might be affected.