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Should I wait and see about Brexit?

I'm considering a spring 2020 Scotland tour (via London), but with today's potentially bad Brexit news, I'm starting to think I should wait at least until October to see what happens (in terms of shortages of goods, etc).

On the plus side, flights seem cheap and the pound is in the toilet, so there's that.

Thoughts?

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/18/752173091/leaked-brexit-document-depicts-government-fears-of-gridlock-food-shortages-unres

Posted by
5909 posts

Well, elaine, about all you can get here is a bunch of anonymous strangers voting yes or no. No special insight to offer, but I'd still go. It will make for a more interesting experience.

Posted by
756 posts

If you don't make plans you will kick yourself when it turns out to be nothing. One NPR article isn't gospel.

Posted by
2176 posts

FYI this is not just an "NPR article", this is news in Europe and bigger news in the UK. It's a leaked UK gov document about the potentially devastating effects of a no deal, apparently leaked by a former minister.

All and all though, I doubt you will feel much of these effects as an American tourist in Scotland, probably just some inflated prices. Just my non-expert opinion lol

Posted by
5201 posts

Again, an opinion, which like something else, everyone has one. I tend not to worry much about things like this.

Naive I suppose, but here is my logic...for you, if it really does happen in October, things should mostly be settled down by Spring anyway. Worst case I suppose is uncertain delays, continuing to push the date out, such that it might interfere with your plans, even so, life will go on. I think that the level of disruption will be less felt by a traveler, hotels will still be there, no changes to currency, the UK will not starve, maybe have to have an ale or cider with your meal rather than a French wine, but like I said life will go on.

In a ghoulish sort of way, being there as Brexit is occurring may be one of the most interesting times to actually go. I was there for the vote, and unfortunately the shooting of Jo Cox, and probably saw more of the real workings of the UK than I ever have, at least more emotion than on other trips Add to that, I am not sure anyone is fully convinced that the jump will occur, every time the edge gets close, some backing off is seen. To continuously delay any plans you have would be counter-productive.

Posted by
25585 posts

Nobody knows if, when or how any Brexit will happen. Nobody will until it either has or hasn't.

Just go.

Posted by
2732 posts

Here's another vote in favor of going ahead with your plans. Back in 1989, I happened to miss an opportunity to go to Berlin and then I heard that Lufthansa had a sale but you had to travel in the winter. I bought my ticket, and then the Berlin Wall fell, so I ended up being there at a uniquely historic time. You just never know!

Posted by
1239 posts

One of the exciting things about Brexit is that nobody really knows how it will turn out in the short term. Just like your own Founding Fathers wouldn't have been certain what was about to happen.

There may be all the wobbles that the EU-loving Project Fear fanatics predict. Or, more likely, they'll be a few blips which need sorting out and will be forgotten by Christmas.

Posted by
2094 posts

I don't have a crystal ball, so I can only guess. And a No Deal will be chaotic, and there are a lot of things that can go wrong. But if Brexit happens in October, the worst problems should have been solved by the spring, one way or another. So I wouldn't worry too much.

NO! GO! These are the same stories recycled from when the world was
going to fall apart in 2000. Remember that? Computers were going to
stop working, food shortages, looting and the sky was going to fall.
None of that happened.

That didn't happen because an army of programmers worked like mad to fix the problem. I'm note sure the UK government is doing what's needed to prepare for a No Deal Brexit.

Posted by
3789 posts

Supplies will affect locals more than tourists. If you are on a tour, they are going to leverage numbers to see that tourists have what they need. But you can try and cover possible challenges by looking at flights that are changeable and minimize cost losses by paying the tour as late as possible and have as much refundable as you can. Until it happens, all you can do is try to minimize fall out; not think the world will end.

Posted by
3334 posts

Go! The original Brexit date (3/31) was the day I was to arrive in England. I just kept on with my trip assuming that things would work out. Brexit didn't happen as scheduled and I had a great trip. However, even if it had, I think I would still have had just as great of a trip. Go ahead and take your trip!

Posted by
506 posts

Sorry but I just have to correct the post immediately above this one. We did not 'elect' a government that has chosen to crash out of the EU. The members of the Conservative party (less than 150,000 of them) chose a new leader when their previous leader Theresa May resigned. As the Conservative party are the largest party in Parliament their new leader automatically becomes Prime Minister. The Prime Minister of the UK is not directly elected by the people. We elect Members of Parliament and as I said the leader of the party with the most MPs usually becomes Prime Minister as long as that party has an overall majority in Parliament. The Conservatives now have a majority of 1 MP, so it is possible (and some say highly likely) that there could be a vote of no confidence in the government. If that vote succeeds than normally the leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition (Labour) would become Prime Minister. If that happens he (Jeremy Corbyn) has said that he would call an early election and campaign to avoid a no deal Brexit.

Don't let this disrupt your vacation plans.

Skyegirl (Jacqui)

Posted by
506 posts

Emma is absolutely right. As a former Senior Civil Servant working in the heart of government in Whitehall and with many friends who still are, I am just relieved to be retired (early) and living here on Skye.

Posted by
5201 posts

Well, from a broad point of view, I believe a country with democratically elected leaders, a working Judicial system, and a free market economy can weather "political instability" better than countries run by dictators with a long record of human rights abuses. One might even question the ethical dilemma of traveling to countries where abuses occur, aside from the safety aspect. I also think comparing ones exit from a Customs Union to that of visiting countries where the concern is a recent coup attempt, unstable security, or rampant corruption a concern a bit a case of "apples and oranges". None of the above are sole attributes of the evil "Western World" or what I assume is the rest of the innocent world.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for all your replies.

I certainly agree that one person's "blips and wobbles" are another's critical, grievous problem. As a traveller, my concern would probably be fuel shortages, but I'd assume if RS tours can't get petrol for the bus, they'd have to cancel and reimburse. Now, whether planes can refuel is another matter. Sure, we say we'd like to be stuck in our vacation world, but really we have lives we must get on with. I'm not saying this will happen, of course. Just speculating.

Also, while I hope the outcome is the same, I just can't compare this with Y2K. There is no basis for comparison. Because that turned out ok is absolutely no reason this will. And I trust an army of IT professionals like a thousand times more than I trust any government to produce results.

And while I had no intention of making any politically charged remarks, from an outsider's opinion, it seems the voters did not have all the information required to make an informed decision on the referendum in the first place.

However according to RS terms and conditions, I could change to another tour up to 60 days ahead. I've always wanted to see Belgium anyway... Haha. I'm really not trying to be a doom purveyor, but I go on vacation to get away from stress. Not to deal with more. Will hold off for a short time and eventually decide.

Thanks again.

Posted by
5547 posts

Working for a British organization gives me some insights into this. I know that the concern really centers around getting goods in and out of the UK via Europe and other places that cause concern and worry. Will there be veg? What about medicines? From my personal perspective will my books arrive in the US in time for the second semester? Everything that I've read and heard from colleagues is that it will take a few months to sort this out. So, I fully expect that we'll do an analysis of our inventory and ship some books over to the US earlier than we normally would have. But, as others have said I wouldn't let this stop me. I too had plans to arrive in the UK on Brexit day last March. I was prepared for the adventure. I needed to be there training. If I have to be in the UK November 1, I'm sure I will book a ticket. If things get chaotic, I'll be sure to post about my traveling adventures!

Posted by
4351 posts

Remember Y2K? Nothing bad happened! Go.

That's because those of us tasked with installing software patches to prevent the doom laden prophecies becoming reality worked our socks off. It's testament to all that hard work that very little occurred rather than evidence of baseless scaremongering.

Posted by
12412 posts

Still scratching my head to find any similarity between Brexit and Y2K.
Must have something to do with the price of tea in China? 😉

Went to a pretty great party on 12/31/1999. Lots of junk food, alcohol and explosive devices. 🥳

Elaine, we're also looking at a hop across the pond to England + maybe Scotland next spring but am much more concerned about how Brexit - if it happens/how it happens - might affect UK citizens than tourists so that won't put us on hold

Posted by
311 posts

JC is correct. Many man hours were spent preparing for Y2K in the corporate world. Ford Motor Company's global data warehouse obtained much of it's data from old "chimney" applications that were still operating on IBM mainframes and worse, programmed in COBOL. Skilled COBOL programmers were becoming hard to find and commanded premium rates. The reason? DASD (disk space) was much more expensive in previous decades so dates were stored in an abbreviated manner. Of course the "wetware" required to update the ancient programming ultimately became very expensive and now we of course have very affordable "data lakes". The "glitch free" Y2K was a very expansive and expensive effort. I was glad to be managing the terabytes in the data warehouse at Ford instead of supporting the business applications and systems.

Posted by
5547 posts

Wow, this Y2K background is awesome. And, fascinating about COBOL. I was a computer science editor in the 80's and even then COBOL was hurting. We were trying to sell Structured COBOL. :) So, I completely believe that there was a limited supply of COBOL programmers in time for Y2K.

Pam

Posted by
2094 posts

However according to RS terms and conditions, I could change to
another tour up to 60 days ahead.

In that case, no need to worry. Book some rebookable flight tickets as well, and if things still look chaotic in January, go and see Belgium instead.

Posted by
506 posts

+1 for Emma's comments. Spot on as ever!

Hi Andrew, from Colbost on the other side of the island, where it is a beautiful misty morning. We talk about Brexit and the possibility for an "Inyref 2" with any of our guests who want to discuss it. Nobody can tell you what will happen with either Brexit or the potential for Scottish independence. It's all speculation.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
897 posts

I just booked a flight to London today (yaaaaassssssss so excited) for July 2020. It did give me a popup that I may now have a visa requirement, which I had heard was coming. Other than that, I could care less about Brexit. I'm sure the people of London/England/etc. will keep on with their daily lives and they will probably appreciate tourists who do continue to come and support their economy. (Edited to add: I do "care" about Brexit, and I feel for people whose lives it will affect, esp. those who didn't support it in the first place. I meant more that it's not going to stop me from going back to London, which I have been wanting to revisit for 16 years!)

Posted by
3 posts

Ugh. Just when I think it's time to pull the trigger, something happens. >:-(

Posted by
1722 posts

I'm considering a spring 2020 Scotland tour (via London)

I encourage you to press ahead. If waiting until November would make you more comfortable, then you'll still have plenty of time to plan.

Are you traveling independently? Spring is a wonderful time to be in Scotland. We didn't realize it at the time, but we planned our trip for the 10 days after Easter. Easter week is really busy and many attractions that were closed or on short hours for the off season open up. They remain open after Easter, but in the week following everyone has gone home. That left Scotland, especially the Highlands and west coast uncrowded.

Posted by
279 posts

As others have pointed out, I and thousands of other software engineers worked our asses off to make Y2K a none event. Fortunately, in the case of Y2K, the adults were in charge and took care of business!

As others have noted, I suspect for tourists Brexit will be no big deal. Perhaps the dollar will be even better against the pound. I, personally, would go!

Posted by
2621 posts

@Kelly, starting in 2021 US citizens will need a visa to travel to countries that are in the Schengen Zone, which the UK isn’t so you won’t need a visa.

Kathy, I was told by an Embassy that the ETIAS is a type of visa, not sure if this correct, a friend asked me to help her, she is planning a trip to Paris in 2021. Yes, you need authorization and it’s good for three years. Thanks Kathy

Posted by
12412 posts

@Kelly, starting in 2021 US citizens will need a visa to travel to
countries that are in the Schengen Zone, which the UK isn’t so you
won’t need a visa.

Robin, what U.S. citizens will need for the Schengen is pre-authorization via European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS for short). It is NOT a visa, does not replace a visa for visitors who are required to have one, and is very similar to the ESTA authorization required of visa-waiver visitors to the U.S.

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/etias/