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  • UK drivers could need permits to drive in Europe under 'no-deal' Brexit scenario

       (Overall rating from this review)
    Will the European countries really want to restrict free-movement of UK tourists spending money in their country?
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    UK licences may no longer be valid on their own when it comes to driving on the continent if no deal is reached with Brussels

     

    British drivers could face the "extra burden" of applying for a permit to drive in the European Union in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit, the government has warned.

    In the latest batch of papers outlining how a failure to reach a deal could impact on British life, ministers revealed UK driving licences may no longer be valid on their own for driving on the continent.

    This is because the EU might not agree to recognise UK licences, a development which would require drivers to apply for International Driving Permits (IDP).

    These cost £5.50 and motorists would be able to apply for them at 2,500 Post Office branches across the UK in the event they become a necessity.

    If they fail to obtain the permit, British drivers face being turned away at borders or being hit with enforcement action.

     

    What the latest 'no deal' Brexit papers reveal

    In an extra layer of bureaucracy that could hit drivers, there are two different types of IDP. This is because different EU nations have recognised different conventions on road traffic.

    So some journeys would potentially require both permits, for example, if you wanted to drive into France and then Spain.

    AA president Edmund King said: "This will be an extra burden for UK drivers wanting to take a holiday abroad.

    "We envisage quite a rush on post offices next year for the £5.50 IDPs if no deal is reached.

    "Hopefully an agreement can be reached to prevent further red tape and expense for drivers."

    The Department for Transport said it thinks up to seven million permits could be requested in the first 12 months after a "no-deal" divorce.

    A total of 28 "no-deal" technical notices were published on the government website on Thursday, following the release of 24 last month.

    As well as driving licences, the latest batch covers topics like roaming charges for mobile phones and the potential impact on passport rules.

    The papers warn that UK citizens could be prevented from entering EU countries even if they have a valid passport.

    Britons currently do not need to have a minimum or maximum amount of time left on their passports to travel to the continent, but this could change if there is no deal.

    Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has called on phone companies not to impose roaming charges on customers under "no-deal".

    Such charges were abolished in June 2017, but a failure to reach a deal would mean surcharge-free travel to the continent could no longer be guaranteed.

    However, the government has said it would introduce a cap on charges if there is no EU agreement.

    Ministers would set a £45 a month limit and force companies to send alerts to customers when 80% of that had been reached.

    Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, which cover more than 85% of the market, say they have no plans to change their approach to mobile roaming post-Brexit.

    But while the chances of British customers being stung by sky-high charges appears remote, those living near the Northern Ireland border could face higher bills.

    The government has warned consumers and businesses to be aware of the potential for "inadvertent" data roaming, where a stronger signal from the Republic kicks in.

    GOOD POINTS:
    • Tidies things up, a return to the 'old days' of UK independance
    BAD POINTS:
    • Could restrict travel in Europe, but unlikely!
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