Last Thursday, here in the UK, we had a referendum to either remain or leave the EU (European Union). For me, the EU allows work opportunities in other EU countries, regulates working conditions and makes travel easy within the EU.
Britains UK Referendum Result
I didn’t even believe that there should have been a referendum on the EU. It really felt that we were been used as pawns in David Cameron and Boris Johnson’s political game of chess. The referendum was called so that David Cameron could keep his promise made back in 2013.
Imagine the shock when I realised that almost 52% of the UK voters voted to leave the EU last Thursday. I was so convinced that the majority would vote to remain, that I nearly put money on it at the bookies. Others were so convinced that of a remain victory that they didn’t even bother to vote.
At 5am on Friday morning I woke up due to a nightmare of political collapse! And there it was plain as day on the UK Referendum results: 51.9% leave and 48.1% remain. The days that followed included a stream of emotions including denial, anger and finally (although this still may not have happened for some people) acceptance for many remain voters. For some leave voters, it was, of course, a celebration.
To Write on Brexit, or not to Write on Brexit
I ‘ummmed’ and ‘aaaaahed’ about writing on Brexit for a few days. I didn’t want to enhance an already clearly visible divide. But, at the same time, I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who says away from politics and controversial issues that affect travel. For me, politics and travel are linked. So what’s all the fuss about Brexit?
It’s not that I am against all leave voters. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and should use their vote. I do have friends who voted to leave the EU based on what they deem to be valid political and economic arguments, and I respect these views.
It’s the racist and bigoted leave voters views that I strongly oppose. Not everyone who voted leave is racist, but sadly, many racists voted leave. A minority used this result to fuel the fire of racism.
UK Police have seen a 57% increase on racially driven hate crimes this week, which are clearly referendum driven. It’s almost as if the referendum result has legitimised racism, because and I quote one leave voter ‘yay no more immigrants, we voted you out!’ Needless to say that a number of people were de-friended from my Facebook profile, many with much regret.
So has Brexit been Implemented?
Cameron resigned within hours of the vote being announced. He will stand down in October. We have no idea who will be taking over (please God, not Boris!) and this has left the UK in one of the most politically unstable situations in decades.
The UK has voted for a Brexit, but it seems that no-one is willing to ‘press the Brexit button.’ Did they even have a Brexit plan?
Even more shocking, following the referendum, was the fact that much of the ‘leave’ campaign was based on fabrication and deceit. This, combined with the lack of a Brexit plan, has resulted in the biggest political shake up of my lifetime, and it has sent shock waves across the world.
Will Brexit Affect my Travel Plans?
Politics aside, what are the current and forecast implications for travellers? How have things changed since the referendum? And what will it be like to travel to and from a Post-Brexit Britain?
If you are travelling to or from the UK within the next two years, the likelihood is that there won’t be major changes to travel within that time. That’s because Article 50 has to be implemented and it will take 2 years to fully go through.
So, in short, the UK is still a member of the EU until Article 50 has been invoked and played out. This has not yet happened. Will it still happen? Who knows. Things are all a little ‘up in the air’ at the moment!
In the long term, there is a chance that, if Brexit still goes ahead, the UK will be tightening up immigration laws and movement between UK and Europe (particularly for work) will be much less fluid.
Visas and EHIC Cards Post Brexit
UK Visas for EU citizens or visas for UK citizens visiting EU countries could become a reality. Flight prices to Europe from the UK could also increase. This has been mentioned by cheap airline Ryanair.
UK travellers may sadly be saying goodbye to their EHIC cards 🙁 A valid European Health Insurance Card gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland (http://www.nhs.uk). Many travel companies will waive the excess on a claim if you carry and use this.
Will Brexit Affect the Exchange Rates?
Brexit has and will continue to affect the exchange rates. The £GBP has dropped against both the EURO and the $Dollar.
What does this mean in real terms? If you are a UK citizen travelling to the EURO Zone this summer, you may have noticed that you are £10 worse off for every £100 you exchange, than before the EU Referendum. In other words, £300 of travel money now seems like £270.
However, the good news is that if you are an American or European travelling to the UK this summer, the exchange is on your side! I even know of one Canadian travel blogger who made the most of this by extending her trip to England for another 3 days this week!
I hope that you appreciate my honest opinions on such a sensitive matter. Sending love to all those UK citizens feeling let down, confused or ripped off (both leave and remain voters). It’s a time of turmoil, I know. But most of all sending love to any UK citizens or EU citizens who have experienced racist insults or attacks. This is not what Britain is about, and nothing validates racism. Please support me in my honest blog. Don’t ‘leave’ me and I hope I’m not gonna have any blogging ‘regrexit!’
You might want to watch: Owen Jones’ Prediction of Brexit and the Consequences…
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