Brexit Support from Dorset Chamber


Tourism is worth an estimated £1.8 billion to the Dorset economy, according to latest official figures from the Visit Dorset organisation. Dorset welcomes 29.4m visitors with 3.4m visits from overseas annually. This advice applies to you if your business or place of work is in the tourism sector in Dorset – including visitor attractions and destinations, accommodation providers such as hotels and B&Bs, travel agencies and holiday providers. It may be use, for example, if you employ someone from the EU, organise holidays abroad or welcome visitors from the EU.

You need to know

People from the EU – including tourists – will be able to visit the UK without a VISA.

They will need to show a valid passport or national identity card on entry to the UK. It is likely that the use of ID cards will be phased out during 2020. In the event of a no deal, visitors from the EU will be able to stay for a maximum of three months. Visitors and tourists from the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU, will still be able to spend as long as they like in the UK. This is because the UK and Ireland have a Common Travel Area arrangement allowing people to come and go.

If you employ people from the EU – for example in restaurants, hotels or management positions – they will be able to stay until December 31, 2020.

They and their families will still be able to work, rent places to live and use services in the UK. However, they must apply to the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme to ensure they can stay after December 2020. If there is a deal, this date may change. It is free to apply for this status and applications are open now. People from the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU, will be able to work as usual in the UK.

If you want to employ people from the EU after Brexit, they will be able to apply to stay for 36 months – three years – on a temporary basis.

They will be able to stay under the European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR) scheme. After this runs out they will have to apply to stay permanently under Government immigration rules yet to be finalised although due to be introduced in January 2021. It likely this will be based on a points-based immigration system, including the need to have lived in the UK for five years although this will be confirmed at a later date. Other criteria may include skills and salary levels. You will need to check that any new employees from the EU have the right to work in the UK after January 2021.

If you organise holidays or travel in the EU, your customers will not need a VISA for trips of up to 90 days under current proposals.

It is worth making sure tourists – and members of you staff accompanying them – have six months on their passport and that it is not more than 10 years old. As the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) card may not be valid in the event of a no deal Brexit, ensure that travellers have insurance with health/hospital coverage. From 2021 UK visitors are to the EU are likely to have to pay about seven Euros for the European Travel Information and Authorization Scheme (ETIAS), which covers travel in the EU for three years. If you run coach trips or tours, you’ll need to check with the Government about additional documents which may be required for legal and administrative purposes.

If you employ UK staff working in the EU, check their long term employment requirements.

They may require work permits or VISAs. There may also be a need to pay social security contributions and register for local healthcare. Other checks to make include changes to mobile phone charges. Your staff may also need an international driving permit to drive in the EU unless they get an EU licence.

Flights will continue to run following Brexit although the UK will no longer be part of the EU’s Single European Sky initiative.

The EU has stated that it will keep skies and airports open for 12 months after Brexit. Sea, road and rail services between the UK and the EU are also due to continue in much the same way after Brexit. Passenger rights will continue to be protected. The Government and EU have put some contingency measures in place, especially for Dover, to deal with congestion. There may be some extra time to wait for passport checks, queues and questions about travel at borders.

Data protection standards will still apply following a no-deal Brexit.

EU visitors will still be able to use your website for information, book rooms or contact you. However, there may be changes to paperwork depending on how much data you exchange with other businesses and customers in Europe. This may apply particularly if you use websites or services hosted in Europe.

If you are a hotel, accommodation provider, food outlet or restaurant it is likely that any specialist goods imported from the EU will be via a supplier.

Your supplier will need to ensure they have the right paperwork, including an Economic Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

Keep your customers, staff, business associates and suppliers updated if you can.

Why not use your website, email or a newsletter? It will give them confidence that you are getting ready for Brexit.

Immediate actions

NOW: Ask staff from the EU about their settlement status

NEXT: Go through company paperwork and procedures

NOTE: No deal advice on Government and trade association websites

Check out

Official Government advice

Settlement scheme

Temporary Leave to Remain



Visiting Europe after Brexit

European Tourism Association (EOTA)

Association of British Travel Agents

Visit Britain

British Chambers of Commerce

Dorset Chamber