Could BREXIT lead to higher travel costs for UK holidaymakers?

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As the debate about Britain’s membership of the EU rages on, a stark warning has been issued by travel watchdog ABTA about the pitfalls of a BREXIT.

With the vote finally being put to the public this June, the Association of British Travel Agents has urged voters to think long and hard about their final answer.

Despite having the option of phoning a friend, asking the audience or even going 50/50, much of the EU referendum electorate remain uncertain which way they’ll vote this June when they’re put on the spot by those of a political persuasion, yet ABTA has – for its part – come up with reasons why it might well be better to stick with the devil we know rather than choosing to go it alone.

Should Brits jump into bed with the anti-EU crowd (as opposed to supporting the pro-Europe camp) then there are fears that travel-lovers and holidaymakers will bear the brunt of this decision where it hurts the most. Their pockets.


Essentially – and the way ABTA see it is – in the event of Britain throwing in the towel and reverting to home rule, as a nation of holidaymakers we will henceforth be stung by increased costs when it comes to playing away. From seasoned backpackers and business traveller to the more conventional package holidaymaker and city break fan, a significant number of holidaymakers will face increased travel costs. And the reasons for this definitely make sense when you think about it…

For starters, the fall in value of sterling if Britain leaves the EU is a very real possibility, as is the underlying fact that companies selling holidays might well have to hike up their prices so as to recompense the effect of new taxes and levies being introduced.

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And that’s before you factor in the not so inconsequential matter of health insurance costs, because if Britain does turn its back on EU membership then it will, potentially, wave farewell to the rather useful European Health Insurance Card scheme (or EHIC as it’s commonly abbreviated to).

Whilst there’s never a bona fide substitute for good old fashioned private health insurance policies (or a far-reaching travel one which features strong health cover), countless numbers of travellers prefer to go abroad with just their EHIC as a financial safeguard.

Collaborating with the respected (and authoritative) Deloitte on this very topical issue of a withdrawal from Europe, ABTA reckons that staffing costs would also escalate as travel providers currently enjoy ‘easy and cost effective’ recruitment of EU migrants according to research, courtesy of the existing free movement of people across continental Europe.

Speaking to various news sources of late, the Chief Executive of ABTA Mark Tanzer offered this appraisal of the possible situation which may unfold in the coming months, when he said; “Our assessment of the report’s findings is that a vote to leave will lead to uncertainties and may lead to increased costs for travel businesses and the travelling public.”

Tanzer went on to add; “ABTA has considered what a vote to leave the EU might mean purely from a travel perspective. Our view is that the potential risks and downsides are not matched by an equal upside for the traveller.”

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