In Dublin’s fair city where the craic is mighty and there’s fun aplenty for everyone.

While we Scots and Irish are still all European pals  together

By Bill Heaney

It’s holiday time again. We are planning a jaunt to Dublin again this year. I am delighted to say we’ll still be Europeans at that time.

I have never really seen myself as a Brit, even when travelling all over the world at the best of times and the worst of times.

I have always looked upon myself as a Scot of Irish descent, even when working in Africa, Canada and even in Northern Ireland covering the Troubles there.

Europe is my home and I would like us to stay in it until we are guaranteed an independent Scotland in a united states of Europe.

Like most people though, I haven’t a Scooby where this Brexit thing is going, although I did tell a fisherman pal in the far off West of Ireland three years ago that it would never happen.

I’m no Mystic Meg, but I have a feeling in my lower abdomen that the UK leaving Europe is not something that is imminent.

Instead of wringing my hands about all the politics of it though, like many people (the wise ones) I am concerning myself with my holiday plans.

Dumbarton’s newest travel agent, Frank Docherty, who is one of the best in the business, was putting my arrangements in impeccable order when the inevitable question came up: Could a no-deal Brexit affect my holiday plans?

Will it, won’t it, can it, can’t it? The questions surrounding Brexit are short and sharp, but the answers are long and complicated.

Horne Ellis.jpg 2Here, thanks to BBC Scotland’s Ellis Horne, pictured right, I have found all the answers.

Ellis quizzed travel journalist David Byrne on what might happen to our holiday plans if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

What is going to happen to our current passport after Brexit, she asked.

David: “The plan is for them to change and to be blue. These are still valid so you don’t need to get rid of it, but make sure you have six months on your passport from when you arrive.

“UK travel documents will no longer be required to have the standard EU burgundy colour, and the government has said all new passports will be issued with a blue cover.”

If I’m planning to work in the EU for the summer, and we leave with no deal, can I still go?

David: “At the moment we can work in any EU country – we’ve got right of residence and so it’s pretty easy to do.

“In a no deal Brexit that will change, and I think it will be a situation like working in the US. It will be more difficult; we just don’t know how difficult.

“At the moment, the travel industry can hire workers on a temporary basis but pay their taxes at home, under the EU “posted worker’ directive.

“Seasonal Businesses in Travel (SBIT) says this seamless transition of staff is crucial to the industry.

“If there was a no deal, the posted worker directive would fall away.

“If the UK leaves with a deal there will be an implementation period, and during these times UK nationals will have the same rights to work in an EU Member State as at present.

“Under this scenario, future arrangements would be determined by the negotiations on the UK-EU future partnership.”

Would I still get free EU data roaming on my mobile in EU countries if we leave with no deal?

David: “The EU, in the last few years, has worked on this legislation to make… your bill like you’re still at home. That’s probably very likely to change. Roaming charges ended in the European Union in June 2017.  If there’s no deal, that wouldn’t be guaranteed any more – so it is possible that roaming charges could return. The UK government has said it would introduce a law to cap charges at £45 a month.  If there is a deal, that would be on hold until the start of 2021 and it would then be up to the networks to decide what to do next.

Would we get Duty Free when travelling to the EU if we leave with no deal?

David: “There will be duty free between the UK and the EU countries – I think that’s pretty likely especially with a no deal situation.  Duty-free shopping within the EU came to an end in 1999, but it could make a comeback if there is a no deal.  There will be no immediate return of duty-free sales if the UK leaves with a deal because, under the arrangement, customs rules will continue to apply during the transition period.  After that period, duty-free sales could return as part of a future trade deal with the EU.”

There you have it then thanks to BBC Scotland’s Ellis Horne and Frank Docherty Travel in Dumbarton.

Docherty TravelYou can give Frank Docherty a call and book your holiday knowing that this is one thing the politicians can’t cock up for you – not for now anyway.  Phone: +44 1389 717270 or 141 433 8298  …  Mobile: +44 7879 991 303 … email frank@dochertytravel.com or have a look at the special deals available on his website:  www.dochertytravel.com

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