7 Things to Know About Business Travel Post-Brexit
October 31st has always been a spooky date, but this year it promises to be extra scary. That’s because it coincides with the United Kingdom leaving the European Union (EU) - otherwise known as ‘Brexit’.
It’s hard to ignore press coverage around business travel problems arising from Brexit. But since much of this is speculation, what can we really expect once November 1 rolls around?
Although much is dependent on the circumstances and whether the UK leaves with a deal or not, there’s some areas for consideration. Here we look at seven important points to keep in mind for work travel in a post-Brexit world.
Currently, UK passport holders are entitled to free or discounted healthcare in most EU destinations with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If the U.K crashs out of the E.U. in October, this may no longer be valid. However, EHIC cards shouldn’t be solely relied upon, even now. A robust company travel policy is always recommended to ensure your healthcare needs are meet. In doing so, it’s one less business travel problem to worry about.
2. Be Passport Ready
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, you may need to review your travel documents for going abroad. The government outlined that you will need at least six months left on your passport, and that it must be less than ten years’ old to be valid.
It’s therefore important to check your travel documents in advance, since it can take three weeks or longer for a new passport to be issued. There is a premium service offering a quicker turnaround, for an extra fee.
If you’re eligible to apply for a passport of another European country, you may want to act quickly. Last year, the Irish passport authority witnessed a spike in applications, rising to 860,000 Irish passports issued. However, with a backlog of applications to get through, this is taking in excess of 60 days for many hopefuls.
3. Prepare for Queues
It’s very possible that travelling within Europe may be met with more red-tape, as countries figure out new policies in place, potentially overnight. Some reports suggest that delays may occur from passport stamps and Q&A with border control. In any case, this means that you should fully expect more queues than usual. You may want to consider inviting clients to the UK for meetings for the interim period to prevent business travel problems.
4. Higher Prices
The pound already dropped to a 10-year low recently. This doesn’t bode well for exchange rates or business travel abroad. All this coupled with rising air fares means that you can expect to pay more for business trips after Brexit. Using a self-service business hotel booking platform is one such one to overcome unnecessary expenses, with your company picking up the hotel bill.
Save money in a post-Brexit world on corporate hotel bookings with Roomex. Learn more about how to get started here.
5. Domestic travel
Domestic travel should remain largely unaffected after Brexit. The government stated that airport security procedures will not change for domestic flights and you should therefore not incur delays.
However, business travel problems are still possible, especially those choosing to fly or travel around some of the busy border points. It is advisable to plan your trip carefully in advance, especially at busy hubs including; Dover, Calais and London Heathrow.
6. Driving Abroad
Business meetings in remote locations often require car hire. If you’re abroad, this might have various implications. For instance, you may need to register for an International Driving Permit, if a British driving licence is no longer recognised. The good news is that these only cost £5.50 and can be bought at your local Post Office.
Similarly, you may also need a ‘green card’ if you’re bringing your own car. This can take up to a month to apply for and is issued by your vehicle insurance company. One final point – don’t forget your GB sticker.
7. Don’t Hang up
One thing that’s likely to catch people off-guard post-Brexit is roaming charges. Recent changes in the law mean that currently, mobile phone data and calls should be priced the same in the UK as it is in the EU.
However, if the UK leaves without a deal this may be an issue since European operators will be free to charge their own rates to UK mobile phones. That said, reassuringly, many of the big operators, including Vodafone and O2 have promised to keep their prices in line with UK charges.