14 Mar

What do the latest Brexit developments mean for travel?

It has been another week of high stakes votes on Brexit. On Tuesday MPs voted against the Prime Minister’s deal, then yesterday MPs voted against leaving the EU without a deal in any circumstance. However, this is not binding.


Today MPs will have the opportunity to vote for an extension, in an attempt to avoid leaving on 29 March. But, this would be subject to approval from the EU and an agreement on how long the extension can be.


Continue to plan for every eventuality

Although it is Parliament’s intention that the UK won’t leave without a deal, no-deal is still a real possibility. There are three ways to avoid a no-deal on 29 March:

  • A deal is agreed and approved by the UK parliament and EU27.
  • The UK Government requests an extension, which is then agreed by the EU27.
  • The UK Government unilaterally revokes Article 50.

There still isn’t any certainty as to what will happen with Brexit, so travel businesses need to continue to prepare for any eventuality - including a no-deal scenario. It’s also important we all continue to make customers aware of any actions they may need to take such as renewing passports and applying for international driving permits, if relevant. ABTA has advice and materials to help Members do this, including information on passports, which we know is a common question from customers.


New radio advertising

To help provide reassurance to the UK public, we will be running a radio advertising campaign on Heart and Classic and launching a new wave of digital advertising on Facebook, telling the travelling public that deal or no-deal they can book with confidence. The advertising will launch this Sunday, 16 March and run for ten days. This follows our most recent burst of advertising on Facebook, which ran for a week reaching nearly a million people, with 55,000 clicking through to our Brexit advice page on abta.com. 


Lobbying activities

We continue to work very closely with Government to highlight the important issues that still need to be addressed and share relevant information. Just last week we convened a meeting between the Department of Transport and coach operators and next week we will be speaking to officials in Brussels. We’ve also published a new toolkit from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in our Brexit guidance section.