Earlier this month, the government published contingency guidance for a no-deal Brexit. No deal would fundamentally change how Britain interacts with the rest of Europe.
Relationships with our EU neighbours would change in a profound way and, in my view, for the worse. The implications of a no-deal Brexit for the travel industry are simply horrendous.
Anyone wanting to travel to the EU would need to have at least six months left on their passport before it expired, or risk being turned back at the border. The amount of time UK citizens would be allowed to stay in an EU country would be limited to three months.
Britons could need a visa costing £52 to enter the EU under draft proposals presented to MEPs. An EU Commission document proposes changes to the EU’s visa policy for nations not in the EU. Martin Sellmayer, the most senior civil servant in the European Commission, recently told MEPs the EU would have to decide whether UK citizens would need visas after Brexit.
A Schengen visa for a short stay of less than 90 days costs £52.
Other implications include a requirement for UK citizens to obtain an international driving permit costing £5.50. Surcharge-free mobile phone roaming would also no longer be guaranteed. This could result in huge additional charges for making calls and using data within the EU.
For any company storing data outside the UK, it could mean they are unable to access it after Brexit. This could affect internet banking, online sales and any kind of online transaction where personal data is held. The government is advising all companies to rewrite their contracts by next March to ensure they have a legal basis to receive data from the EU.
All British law that facilitates civil judicial cooperation with EU countries would be repealed. UK businesses would no longer be able to enforce their rights against an EU company or individual in the UK.
Flights between the UK and the rest of the EU are governed by the EU’s open skies agreement. Despite transport secretary Chris Grayling’s assurances, there are currently no formal arrangements by which planes would be able to fly between the UK and the EU after March 29 next year. Ryanair has warned that flights between the UK and the EU could be grounded.
To cap it all, according to Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, Britain’s property market would crash and mortgage rates spiral in the event of a chaotic no-deal Brexit, with house prices falling 35% over three years.
Interest rate rises would be inevitable. Sterling would fall against other currencies and the Bank of England would need to raise rates to encourage investors to buy British currency.
This would have an immediate effect on the repayments of about 50% of borrowers who have standard variable-rate or tracker mortgages.
No wonder ITT members voted by almost 10 to one in favour of remaining in the EU.
Steven Freudmann is chairman of ITT