Brexit Deal in Doubt Again: What it Means for Travel

Illustration of British and EU flags symbolizing Brexit
Photo by Foto-Rabe/Pixabay

The UK’s House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempt for a “meaningful vote” on Brexit in the latest setback for the new Brexit deal Johnson had negotiated with the European Union (EU) last week

In a special session of the UK Parliament on Saturday a group of rebel lawmakers declined to vote yes or no on the latest deal between the UK and the EU, NBC News reports. Instead, they voted to withhold final judgement on the deal and to force Johnson to ask Europe for another deadline extension. The deadline is still currently set for October 31. 

Johnson had said that he would seek a “meaningful vote” on Brexit on Monday. However, Bercow rejected the motion, saying “It’s clear that the motions are in substance the same,” according to The Herald Scotland

What it could mean for travel: One of the biggest impacts of the Brexit process has been due to its effect on the value of the pound – a weak pound makes vacations to the UK relatively cheaper and outbound travel from the UK more expensive, while a strong pound has the opposite effect. According to the latest analysis in The Guardian, progress on Brexit legislation could see the pound rally to between $1.32 and $1.34; however, many speculators are still short on the pound, meaning that they expect it to decline. 

Uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process has also had a significant impact on the travel sector, as it was one of the factors blamed for the recent collapse of iconic UK travel brand Thomas Cook. That company filed for insolvency, stranding hundreds of thousands of travelers and prompting the UK’s largest repatriation effort since World War II. Following Thomas Cook's collapse, all of the company’s UK storefronts were acquired by independent UK travel agency Hays Travel

In terms of air travel, both the United States and the European Union have deals in place to allow flights to and from the UK to continue, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 

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