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Brexit - A Guide to Travel in the EU

You’ve undoubtedly heard lots of conflicting theories about what will happen to travel after the 31 October deadline, from scaremongering in the tabloids to blasé claims of no change from some parliamentary sources.

Should the deadline pass with or without a deal, there will certainly be some changes to the way we travel within the EU.

But all is not lost, claims that planes may be grounded and millions will be stranded abroad, are completely unfounded.

Here’s what we know, so far…


Planes, Trains, Ferries, Buses, Coaches, Eurostar and Eurotunnel crossings will continue to run as normal.

Airport security will not change for those on direct flights to or from EU countries or the UK, and no security delays are expected.

Some bus and coach services to and from non-EU countries, such as Switzerland may change. It’s best to check with your travel operator prior to your travel date.

European Health Insurance Cards

The European Health Insurance Card’s (EHIC) may not be valid in most EU countries, if we leave without a deal.

This is especially important information if you have pre-existing medical conditions or may need routine maternity care while travelling, as the EHIC currently covers these as standard.

Ensure sure you have travel insurance that offers you the cover you need, and that any pre-existing conditions are disclosed fully.

The UK has asked that the EHIC scheme be continued within the EU until December 2020 as standard, however only Spain, Ireland, Belgium and Portugal have agreed to this at present, although this may change closer to the deadline.


On the day you travel, you’ll need at least 6 months left on your current passport and it must be less than 10 years old, even if it does have more than 6 months left to run.

Also, if you renewed your current passport before the old one expired, months may have been added to its expiry date. These additional months may not be valid for travel.

The best way to check if your passport is valid, is to use the passport checker tool issued by GOV.UK you’ll need to know when your passport was issued, when it expires and the date you plan to travel.


If you’re planning to drive abroad, you’ll need some additional documents.

If you are taking your own vehicle you will need a Green Card. It’s recommended that you let your motor insurer know at least a month in advance of your travel date, to allow the Green Card to be issued to you. You’ll also need a GB sticker.

You may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in some countries, to check if this is necessary for your chosen destination you can check driving requirement updates using the GOV.UK checker tool.

Mobile Phone Roaming

This may not be free for UK customers in the EU after the 31 October 2019, you should check with your mobile phone provider to find out what charges could be made, before you travel.

Further Information GOV.UK has created comprehensive guidance on how to prepare for travel within the EU. We recommend that you check the page regularly if you’re planning to travel on or around the 31 October 2019. If you have any questions about your travel insurance needs, or your existing policy with us, please let us know by calling our friendly team on 0330 880 3600. We’re here Open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6pm, Saturday 8:30am to 4pm and closed Sundays. .