Government Issues New Brexit Advice on Package Holidays

The Government has published new advice to consumers about how their package holiday bookings could be affected by a no-deal Brexit. The advice insists that the government “will keep existing high levels of consumer protections in the UK” for package holiday bookings. “If we leave the EU without a deal, after March 29, your protections will stay the same if you buy a package holiday from a UK-based business,” says the government.

 “If you are unsure where your package travel organiser is based, for example if you are shopping online, you should verify with them and check their terms and conditions.”

The advice adds that those customers who buy packages from EU-based businesses will be covered by UK consumer protection rules if the company “operates in or targets the UK market or is sold by a UK-established retailer”.

But the government is warning consumers that if they book a holiday with an EU-based operator before March 29 for travel after that date “there is a risk that, in the event of a no-deal exit, the insolvency protections put in place by EU businesses will cease to apply to UK consumers” after Brexit. “If an EU business became insolvent, the protection for UK travellers would depend on the law of the country concerned,” adds the Government’s advice.

The advice also confirms that if the Government’s Brexit deal with the EU is approved by the House of Commons next week, which is currently thought to be extremely unlikely, then consumer rights will remain the same as they are now during the “implementation” period running until December 2020.  “Your package travel will be protected if you bought it from any business within the EU and complete the holiday before the end of that period,” adds the Government.