The Brexit Transition Period is over – A Legal Comment from Nick Parkinson at Travlaw

Nick is a key member of Travlaw’s Brexit Advice Team.


The Brexit Transition Period is over.  The UK’s future relationship with the EU is becoming clearer, but there are still plenty of wrinkles to iron out.  In this article, we will look at some of the key issues for the UK Inbound travel sector under the new ‘EU-UK Trade & Co-Operation Agreement’.

Data Protection

Do you have suppliers based in the EU? If so, they will now be looking to ensure that they can continue to legally send data to companies based in the UK.  Fortunately, there is a 4 month transition period where it will be ‘business as normal’ (with an option to extend this by 2 months if required).

Until then, all eyes are on whether the EU will declare that the UK’s Data Protection Regime is ‘adequate’ and, if so, EU suppliers can continue sending over data to UK companies as normal.  If not, your suppliers will most likely want to review their Terms & Conditions with you to make sure that they are complying with the GDPR regime.

Trade Marks

Do you currently have a trade mark in the EU?  If so, this will survive across the EU and also the UK.  However, in order to maintain its use in the EU you will now need to appoint a TM representative who is established in the EU.

Insolvency Protection for Package Holidays

Are you a UK company marketing package holidays into EU countries?  If so, as it stands any insolvency protection obtained in the UK will no longer be recognised in those EU countries.  If you are only marketing into France, you could simply instruct French lawyers and undertake whatever steps are necessary to comply with French law.  However, frustratingly, that applies to each EU country that you are marketing into.  For that reason, the more EU countries that you are marketing into, the more attractive it becomes to consider obtaining a ‘place of establishment’ in an EU country.  Why? Because you can then obtain insolvency protection that is portable all over the EU – rather than having to comply with the regime in each EU country separately.

Free Movement of People

The free movement of people between the UK and the EU has come to an end – except for Irish passport holders.  For tourists coming into the UK from the EU, a VISA will not be required for ‘short trips’.  However, it is important to understand what other documents will be required (e.g. ID cards).  The best place to check any entry requirements is the website.  If you employ any EU citizens, likewise the website provides useful guidance – whether in relation to work VISA’s, the EU Settlement Scheme or otherwise.

The above is of course no more than a concise summary of just some of the key issues facing the industry. Some say that Brexit has not been completed, rather it has only just begun.