Brexit: What Britain’s Departure from the EU Would Change for Travel and Travelers
Should We Stay or Should We Go?
If the United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union on June 23, nothing would change immediately. Indeed, on June 24, the country would still be a member of the European Union, albeit one that has proclaimed its intention to leave.
The big question that would arise for Her Majesty’s government would be how quickly it should exit. The U.K. Treasury has already pointed out that there is no simple answer, citing “a trade-off between securing a deal as quickly as possible to reduce uncertainty in the short term, and securing the best possible deal for the U.K. to minimize the economic costs of exit over the long term.”
Regardless, if the outcome is in favor of the Brexit, change will literally be in the air.
Brexit is a commonly-used abbreviation for British Exit from the European Union. Voters in Britain will be asked at a referendum whether the country should continue its membership in the organization it joined in 1972 when it was called the European Economic Community. The question on the ballot, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” offers two choices: “Leave the European Union” or “Remain a member of the European Union.”
Indeed, should the Brexit become reality, today’s low-cost flights to the Continent might well be unsustainable. Britain is currently part of the EU single aviation market that has allowed no-frills airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair to dramatically change the industry and offer significantly discounted fares. In order to maintain this environment, a post-EU Britain would have to negotiate new deals to maintain a semblance of that arrangement. With higher prices and less competition a likely outcome, fewer people would simply hop on a plane than they now do.
Those who do fly would lose the protections that EU Regulation 261/2004 grants. Currently, passengers who are bumped or whose flights are significantly delayed or cancelled are entitled to generous compensation under European law.
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