On Thursday, June 23, 2016 citizens of the United Kingdom voted to withdraw from their membership in the European Union. What does this mean for American travelers to the UK? It is difficult to say exactly what effects it will have on travel in and out of the UK. This was a politically charged referendum with some false accusations being made during the campaigns.
- Will it be more difficult to visit the UK? The UK was never signed onto the Schengen agreement so you always had to go through boarder control when traveling to and from another EU country. If you just changed planes in London you were required to go through boarder control so that should not change. Because emigration was used as an issue in this election, the UK may increase traveling restrictions on citizens from certain countries. However, the expectation is that is should impact American travelers.
- Will it become more expensive or less to visit? This vote has had a negative effect on the British Sterling pound. That means the US dollar has increase it’s value, which is good for American travelers. At the end of 2015, $100.00 USD = £ 65,45. As of July 1, 2016 those same $100.00 USD bring you £ 75.33. That may not seem like a lot but, consider your hotel bill, transportation, food and over a weeks stay could mean a few hundred dollars less. Over the last 5 years London has become one of the most expensive places to visit in all of Europe. Even when cashing in points for free night stays has increase when other Europe countries and cities has remain steady. While prices London may be a tad less than usual other European cities could become more expensive. Economists say Berlin and Frankfurt will benefit from Brexit and may drive up costs to visitors. Berlin has been a real bargain over the last decade for American travelers. The Euro has also gain value against the US dollar. At the end of 2015, $100.00 USD = € 93,46 whereas on July 1, 2016 those $100.00 USD = 89,78.
- When will the exit from the EU become effective? Ask anyone from the politicians down and there is no real answer. It could possibly take several years, especially if it impacts the UK economy negatively.
To read how this might effect other non travel issues read this link at the BBC News.