More Brexit paranoia

Channel closed

CNN reports (05.1.019) that those travelling to and from the UK can expect significant disruption post Brexit. Tom Jenkins, chief executive of ETOA, the European Tourism Association, said that “we have to entertain this nightmare”. ETOA also said that there will be significant disruption  to aviation, currency, insurance, mobile phone roaming and passport control.

The ETOA blog is full of warnings of extreme Brexit scenarios, without (in Grumpy’s eyes) any real basis. As ever, when doom is foretold by politicians or commercial entities, first look for vested interests and the sound of axes being firmly ground. So the above list warrants examination, and particularly from the angle of tourism.

Travel: as Grumpy pointed out in 80% of tourists to Tenerife come from the UK; Brits make up a huge proportion of holiday travellers to Spain (especially the Canaries and the Med), France and Italy. The EU accounts for over 50 million UK holidays per annum, and spending of billions of Euros.

Does ETOA seriously think that the southern EU countries will let Brussels decimate their tourist industry, and see Brits find sun in Turkey? In Spain, tourism accounts for some 11% of GDP and the UK is by far the biggest country contributor, with 18.7m visitors in 2017.

Unless the EU has a disposition  to political and economic self-harm, it will fix this at the outset, ready for 2019. To do otherwise will hurt them rather than Brits, who will fly to Tunisia, Turkey, Israel etc and be welcomed there. If the EU cause pain to make the Brexit point, they will soon discover a fundamental English trait of ‘bloody mindedness’, when they try to get any repulsed holiday makers back.

ETOA’s ‘Destination Spain’ manager is Marta Garcia Cruz, who, if her boss is right, will be looking for a job soon.

Currency : It’s not clear what the issue is here; the UK (thank goodness) is not a EURO country, and it’s hard to think why the exchange of currency will be affected in any way. As for cards, if Grumpy can use his cards in Beijing, Bangkok and Carcross (Yukon, Alaska) it’s hard to envisage not being able to do so in Munich. Plus, see the travel point above …

Passport control : Grumpy is old enough to have expired passports with Spanish stamps in. Entry  wasn’t particularly an issue then, and there is no reason for it to be now. However with not being in Schengen, Grumpy’s experience has been that the average wait for getting into Paris once in the EU was significantly longer than that the queues he experienced on his many trips to Hong Kong. If it gets materially worse, it will be down to Junker’s punishment plan or pathetic organisation.

Aviation : French air traffic controllers spurred on to add a bit of delay to UK planes would do well to remember that flights to the USA pass through an area controlled by the UK. But in general, unless the EU is economically stupid (? maybe so – they can’t ever get their accounts signed off) these issues should be fixed quickly; after all, today, we comply with EU regulations in aviation so it is not about creating a framework, but ensuring continued equivalence. Come on, the EU allows  Uzbekistan Airways, Turkmenistan Airlines, and Air Astana (which narrowly missed an EU ban), so surely good old BA must cut it ?

Insurance, roaming, etc. : More Brits visit the USA than Germany, Portugal or Greece. They go there and it’s a different currency, there are no EHIC cards, insurance is expensive, and there are no EU mandated roaming rates. But the hoards travelling to Florida to Disney-something don’t see it as a “nightmare” or stay at home to go to Blackpool. This just highlights the paucity and intellectual bankruptcy of ETOA’s doom spreading.

None of the outlined scenarios (and the other aspects listed in the report) are likely. The simple fact is the ETOA, by setting out a highly unlikely speculative combination of events (without any stated justification)  have joined the group of dishonest organisations which for their own vested interests seek to  frustrate the democratic will of the British people.