Brits in the West Midlands planning their holiday getaway to Europe next year have been urged to carry out a Brexit ‘MOT’ before Britain officially leaves the EU.
After recent surveys were carried out for Scenic and Emerald Waterways by Atomik Research they found that most people in the West Midlands have taken no action to prepare for potential changes that could affect travel in Europe.
It is said 84% of holidaymakers in the West Midlands have not researched about how Brexit could affect their holiday plans.
And 72% of people in the region say they are completely unaware of potential changes to passport regulations and disruption to travel in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Possible post-Brexit changes to travel could include people needing visas to visit France or flights being grounded, and anyone hoping to take a pet abroad will need to visit a vet at least four months before the trip.
Currently British citizens can enter any Schengen area country even if their passport has a day left before it expires.
But if there is no deal, travellers may not be able to visit these countries unless they have six months left on their passport.
The Government has now advised adults and children to renew passports that have less than six months validity at the time of any planned trip.
Ruth Smeeth, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North, said: “There is a very real danger that a no deal Brexit could wreak havoc with peoples travel plans, but even with a deal we are likely to see changes to passport control, travel visas and waiting times at ports and airports.
“For those travelling to and from other EU countries, the end of Freedom of Movement will undoubtably mean some change.
“I’m doing everything that I can to ensure we get the best Brexit deal possible for my constituents, and that includes making sure we have clear arrangement’s in place for those traveling abroad.
“However, I would urge anyone planning to take a trip next year to think about what may happen after March and seek advice from their travel provider.”
Colin Downing, MD of Scenic and Emerald Waterways, said: “I would urge anyone planning a summer holiday to the continent next year to carry out a thorough MOT of their arrangements to make sure they are as ready as possible for their trip and not to let Brexit doubts ruin their holiday.
“We talk to our customers all the time but wanted a clearer picture of how much they really understood about Brexit and how it may affect holiday plans which is why we commissioned this survey.
“The results have made us realise that Britain needs to wake up. We’re passionate about supporting our customers and want to help them act with our three-step plan.
“By just checking your passport and going through your insurance T&Cs now you’ll be better prepared for next year.
“We’ve also introduced our Emerald Waterways Guarantee and Scenic Brexit Assurance which means our customers won’t be hit with any additional surcharges or price rises and means they can look forward to their 2019 holiday whatever happens with Brexit.”
26% of British travellers said they would avoid booking travel to EU countries during the end of March or early April 2019 because of Brexit uncertainties.
The strength of the pound, rising prices and the threat of no access to medical care are putting British holidaymakers off travelling European post-Brexit.
The survey was taken by over 4000 people online between 10-18 October 2018.