No-deal Brexit: What could happen to travellers at midnight on 30 March

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Beware the Cinderella second.

Think about you’re driving alongside a French autoroute or Spanish autopista late within the night of subsequent Friday, 29 March. Because the clock ticks over to midnight, your driving licence ceases to be valid. In case you get pulled over by the police you had higher be capable to produce the precise Worldwide Driving Allow (1968 model for France, 1949 model for Spain).

In case you are driving your personal automobile, let’s hope you had organized a “inexperienced card” to increase your motor insurance coverage to the nation you’re at the moment in. The host nation is a part of the European Union. However you aren’t.


That, a minimum of, is the outlook as Article 50 staggers to its appointment with future – and presumably self-destructs together with the hopes and desires of thousands and thousands of individuals, whether or not they voted to go away or stay.

It’s the default denouement of the method that started when David Cameron introduced he would search the need of the folks on the UK’s membership of the EU.

Brexit – once more, no matter your private view on the controversy – has triggered deeper divisions than I’ve ever seen in my not-inconsiderable years on this planet.

Whether or not you imagine that the prime minister’s withdrawal settlement is the least dangerous of all of the exit methods, or yearn for the nuclear no-deal choice, maybe you’ll agree that the fast penalties of Brexit won’t be constructive. And of all the numerous dimensions of injury it’s going to trigger, leaving the European Union may have profound implications for travellers.

One other Cinderella second. Think about you’re an in-patient at a hospital within the “EU27,” being handled by the French or Spanish well being service on the identical foundation as native residents.

Once more, at midnight you turn out to be a third-country nationwide. Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) becomes as impotent as your driving licence. Both the price of medical care begins to rack up, otherwise you discover therapy is withdrawn till you may show your means to pay.

After I was evaluating the results of Brexit, this was one consequence that I used to be not anticipating. At a Brexit Choose Committee session in June 2017, the last-but-two secretary for exiting the EU, David Davis, stated he needed EHIC advantages to proceed past 29 March 2019.

Satirically, as a result of a lot time, vitality and sources have been squandered on the political arm-twisting and posturing of Brexit, the UK hasn’t obtained spherical to negotiating a successor to the EHIC.


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You needn’t look far for different potential Cinderella moments. Making a late-night cell phone name from Italy that begins at 11.55pm, native time? After 5 minutes of free dialog as prescribed by the EU-wide ban on roaming expenses, British travellers might discover the pay-per-minute worldwide calls meter working, as their cell supplier seizes the chance to revert to the dangerous previous days of extreme roaming charges.

And yet another for the street: whereas the police are checking your motoring paperwork, they might additionally ask to see your passport – and, if it was issued 10 years ago or extra, cost you for a breach of Schengen border guidelines.

Now, I don’t anticipate any of those points really to come back to cross over the following few weeks; “no deal” might not occur, and even when it does British travellers who inadvertently discover themselves on the flawed facet of very latest historical past are unlikely to be hunted down as immediate outlaws. This isn’t a “millennium bug” scare that may convey the journey world to a halt.

The actual harm will emerge solely slowly for individuals who comply with past these with the great fortune to be in a foreign country for the act of nationwide self-harm. Inside a few years, a few of you’ll be fleeced by on-line scammers as you attempt to discover the precise web site for Etias, the “Euro-visa” that we’ll want.

We may have fewer trains, boats and planes than would have prevailed had we stayed on the celebration, and maybe a foreign money that’s as a lot of a laughing inventory because the nation. And we shall be diminished from the more and more various, affluent and welcoming nation during which I’ve been privileged to stay.

The extra I watch with rising horror at what youthful folks might name “hashtag #WTF”, the extra I’m persuaded that the one factor that explains Theresa Might’s behaviour throughout essentially the most baffling premiership in historical past is that she is an ardent Remainer who has skewered her profession and her celebration with a purpose to avert the harm from a democratic determination.

However expertise reveals that rank incompetence is way extra prevalent than conspiracy.

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