Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: Brexit Brits at back of visa queue

Queuing up in the non-EU lane is a drag. Photo / 123RF
Queuing up in the non-EU lane is a drag. Photo / 123RF

Among the Brits who voted for Brexit, it seems few had given much thought to the possibility that they might find themselves needing visas to visit the Continent. Those cultured long weekends sampling the finest of European culture — necking ready-to-drink spirits on the Costa del Sol or standing, shirtless, with your arms out to the sides while chanting "Rooooney!", in the middle of the Champs-Elysees — might be a thing of the past.

UK citizens might find themselves needing Schengen visas — that's the ticket that makes most of Europe accessible for Kiwis living in the UK. It's a terrific scheme.

What those short-haul holidaying Brits will find is that when it comes to getting past Customs, not all passports are created equal — even when they're the same passport. Queuing up in the non-EU lane is a drag, particularly if you're travelling with EU-passported friends who have slipped through in the fast lane and necked a coffee — or something stronger — before you've even had the chance to say "nothing to declare".

Nonetheless, the Schengen visa is very cool. In a nutshell, you get 90 days in the region; naturally you can't work. I'd love to see a similar scheme for the countries of the Pacific Rim. They're our major trading partners and they already provide most of our tourist visitors.

See you in the queue.

- NZ Herald

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Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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