Travelling to Lanzarote after Brexit

Contrary to what some people believe, Lanzarote IS in the European Union – by virtue of Spain’s membership.

The difference is that the Canary Islands are outside the European Union VAT and Customs area. But the islands are part of the Union for the movement of people and all the other aspects of membership.

Until the UK leaves the EU, the UK remains a full member. As such, there is no change until the UK departs.

If the UK leaves with a deal, travel will remain the same until at least 31st December 2020 (the end of the implementation or transition phase). You will not need a visa for this transition period.

Whilst a member of the EU, as a British passport holder you only need your passport to be valid until the last day of your stay. As a “third country national” if the UK departs in a “no deal” scenario you will need at least 6 months’ validity on your passport when you arrive in Lanzarote. In this scenario you will be limited to 90 day stays in any 180 day period – that is in all Schengen countries. The islands are part of Schengen as a result of Spain’s membership. Remember, the Lanzarote border is also Spain’s border (the Canary Islands are part of Spain, Schengen and the EU for immigration).

The Schengen border doesn’t recognise passports which are valid for more than 10 years, so perhaps bizarrely you could conceivably be unable to travel on a passport which has too much validity. The UK Government says “If you renewed a passport before it expired, up to 9 extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.”

It may be wise to renew your passport early, and it would certainly be prudent to check anyway, click here to check how suitable your validity is on your current passport.

In a “no deal” situation, the EU has proposed that there should be no visas for holidaying and short stays. But it is important to follow advice (see below links) for if or when details emerge of this. However, British people will – as things stand – from 2021 need to apply for visa waiver when the ETIAS (European Travel Information System) comes into force, it will cost 7€ and be valid for 3 years. Again, it’s important to wait for further details to emerge.

The best advice is to check the official UK Government websites, click the below links

Travel to the EU

Travel to Spain

Again, in “no deal” there may be changes to how you can use your UK driving licence. You may need an International Driving Permit, as well as your licence. The correct IDP for Spain is the 1949 one. Be aware different countries may require different permits. An IDP costs £5.50 from post offices in the UK. Currently there is no word from the Spanish government on this, so we have to assume that this would be required and be prepared. During any transition period your UK licence would be valid.

Your European Health Insurance Card is valid until the UK leaves the EU. At present, there is no word if there will be arrangements post-exit. You are strongly advised to take out travel insurance, regardless of the Brexit situation. Your EHIC would be valid in a transition period. The UK government is seeking arrangements for beyond the exit date and after any transition period.

On flying, the UK goverment has said “if there is no EU Exit deal, flights should continue as today. Both the UK and EU want flights to continue without any disruption. There will be no impact to direct flights to non-EU countries.” As ever, you should always check your airline schedule in advance of your departure.

For more details and other consequences it is important to check the official advice from