Will Brexit affect how you travel for business?

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The deadline for Brexit negotiations is looming. The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, have been in ongoing talks over the last few days, but it’s still not known whether they will reach a sufficient deal.

It’s a time of unbelievable uncertainty for many sectors, and the hospitality and travel industries are two that are set to be hit the hardest.

There’s still free movement until 11 pm on 31 December 2020, but what could happen after that? If you have a business travel programme, how could you be impacted? Read on to learn more.

Your choice of carrier or route could be affected

If a no-deal Brexit is reached, it could significantly impact how you fly for business between the UK and EU.

Airfares could rise, and there might not be the varied choice in carrier there is currently. This could also have a knock-on effect on the routes those carriers fly, with reduced carriers, that subsequently reduces the routes available.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has stated he will ground Ryanair flights unless replacements for EU airline agreements are struck before Brexit. He said, “flights between the UK and the European Union will be cancelled for months after Brexit.”

What does this mean for business travellers?

This could mean you’ll have to plan more, with longer travel routes ahead for business travellers. There might not be as many direct flight routes available, which dictates how quickly or how easily you arrive at your destination.

For business travellers travelling in and out of the UK, this could mean higher airfares, which, in turn, will affect your travel budget.

If you’re from the UK, you’re classed as a ‘third country’ national

If a no-deal Brexit is reached, anyone who holds a UK passport is classed as a ‘third country’ national. This means your business travellers will be expected to comply with the new rules and regulations to travel within The Schengen Area.

The Schengen Area is an area made up of 26 European countries that have abolished all passport border controls.

So if you’re from the UK and you travel for business to the EU or other Schengen Area countries, you face different border checks, you must read up on these changes and prepare as best you can.

What does this mean for business travellers?

Business travellers would be required to have at least six months left on their passport to travel from the UK to the EU. Your business trips would be monitored to ensure they don’t last more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

You may have to confirm the purpose of your business trip, and who is paying for the cost of travel.

Hotel prices could increase further

The hotel industry has already enjoyed an increase in prices in recent years due to supply and demand. But hotel prices could increase further if a no-deal Brexit is achieved. Although workers can live and job search in the UK, the government would now require workers to apply for permission to work in the UK from the EU.

A report by Politico states that employers would have to sponsor EU applicants by applying for permits issued by the government. This application could cost companies a fee, and only so many permits will be made available to each sector, making it possible they may have to pay higher wages for British workers.

What does this mean for business travellers?

The lack of cheaper labour could mean hotel prices rise, affecting your travel budget.

It’s important to note that this could all change if a deal is negotiated before 31 December. But your organisation must have a contingency plan, mainly if you do business in the UK, or your company is based in the UK and has employees travel to the EU.

Significant changes are ahead for the UK and the EU. Find more information about the Brexit transition here.

If you’re researching cheaper corporate ground travel options, check out our innovative SaaS solution for businesses.

Read next: How has our attitude changed toward business travel?