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Halfcrown

Just got a text from HM Passports...

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So I got a text from HM Passports telling me to check on their web site as passports may need to be renewed earlier than expected if there is a no-deal Brexit.

The new rules will be UK Passport holders will be entitled to the Schengen Visa-waiver Scheme if (and only if) their passports have a minimum of 6 months validity.

Fine 

... or maybe not?

I am booked to sail out to Bilbao tomorrow, and to return from Bilbao on 29 October - which means that by Brexit-day I will be back in the UK.....  unless of course the sailing is cancelled and I get bumped onto another that leaves after 31 October. If that happens, I'll be in the Schengen area without a valid Schengen visa, and without entitlement to the visa waiver - i.e. illegally!

There is no advice on the HM Government web site that is of any particular relevance to this.

I contacted the EU Brexit helpline. It took a while to get the infomation, but it seems that if I am in that situation, I will need to get to a British Consulate and get an Emergency Travel Document, which presumably will be part of the Visa-Waiver scheme. 

This is all getting rather complicated!

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You will be entering Spain on a valid passport as we will still be in the EU.

Even after we leave we won't need visas, however at some point we will need the ESTA equivalent.

In the unlikely event of not sailing on time and us actually leaving the EU your only 'crime' will be having a passport that they won't let you in the Country with - however you are leaving so that is ok !

Don't worry about it & have a great holiday, you will probably find that Spanish Immigration don't look at your passport very carefully anyway !

Note that the rules are even stricter as the EU doesn't like passports being issued for more than 10 years so the extra bit of unused passport doesn't count either.

ps - if you like planning for all eventualities you might want to get the French version of the IDP in case you have to drive back through France;  Spain doesn't need one.

Interestingly I have recently renewed my LV= policy & that gives automatic protection in the EU - it now says that you need to have a free Green Card for that even though we haven't left.

Edited by David Williams
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I renewed my car insurance and was told if there is no deal I have to inform them and they will issue green card or a printable version.they said there is no problems expected in travelling in Europe after brexit.

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5 hours ago, David Williams said:

Interestingly I have recently renewed my LV= policy & that gives automatic protection in the EU - it now says that you need to have a free Green Card for that even though we haven't left.

When Brexit was thought to be earlier this year, Aviva offered me a green card, free, if I was planning to travel abroad - so I got one (in case)!

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Passport rules are strange things. To be allowed back in the country if you are a UK citizen you just have to prove that you already live here.

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The worry when on holiday or travelling is that both your passport and wallet get stolen or lost simultaneously. Then if you do manage to get to a consulate or embassy it's difficult to prove who you are. I've never had a problem so far but each year in January I scan (if new) and email myself copies of my passport,  birth certificate and driving licence which can be pulled off the web very easily anywhere I may be. Ed. 

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I learnt my lesson a few years ago disembarking at Poole one evening.  Late evening, looking forward to jumping in the first taxi, getting home to my own coffee, a bath, bit of TV and a good night’s sleep.  In the customs queue, I searched for my passport, and could not find it anywhere, thought I had left it on board.  I had it to check in at Cherbourg and remembered putting it back in the zip up pouch that I keep it in.  Nowhere to be seen at Poole.  And not until about seven passengers had gone through customs and I was the next but one, I was in a blind panic.  Luckily I found it, it had managed to wedge itself right at the bottom of my bag between some papers.  Crikey, it was good job I didn’t bin those papers on board!  Panic over but my heart was going ten to the dozen and to say my journey back home and my intended relaxation was one of the sort of feeling you get after such a close shave is an understatement, 

I decided then to change my travel bag and bought one specifically with a zipped section that is ONLY for my passport.  The passport itself is now inside an A5 document wallet and then that inside a zip up pouch - the whole lot goes straight into the section of the bag intended just for that.  I have no reason to go into that section of my bag unless I am at passport control.  Since then no mishaps.  But it gave me the fright of my life at the time!

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