Sometimes, particularly when I put on my lawyer hat, I am inclined to think that maybe, just maybe, that whole Brexit thing wasn’t properly thought through from the outset. But big words like “sovereignty” won over practical concerns, and thus we have the mess that we are in.
In a weird twist of fate, the consequences of Brexit do however mean that traveling to the UK will be cheaper than ever. Thanks to the folly of British voters, you can now visit England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for less money than the Roman soldiers who built Hadrian’s anti-immigration Wall.
The first reason is the plummeting value of the British pound. Since Brexit, the pound has lost in value against most of the world’s currencies (shown as the appreciation of other currencies in the following chart).
“But look how well the pound is doing compared with the Venezuelan bolívar,” Brexiteers want to interject, before being told that anything went up in price compared with the Venezuelan bolívar, even toilet paper.
This means that Britons cannot afford foreign holidays (except in Venezuela) and have to pay more for imports (which is everything, except maybe fish). For you as a traveler, it means that you will get many more pounds for your euros, dollars, yuans, kronas, leis and zlotys.
The second aspect is less obvious and only applies to people who either need no visa for the Republic of Ireland or who can easily obtain one. Because in Brexit terminology, “taking back control of our borders” means that there will be no border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) and because the UK has promised that there will be no border or passport checks on trips between Ireland and Great Britain, you can buy a ticket to Ireland and simply walk into the UK across the invisible border. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. And the UK won’t even know that you are there! They call this a “Common Travel Area“, which strangely enough is no threat at all to sovereignty, control and the nation as a whole.
Thus, you save the money and hassle that you would have spent on a UK visa.
But now comes the best trick: If you don’t need a visa to enter the Republic of Ireland, you can purchase a one-way ticket only, make your way to the UK, go hiking in the Highlands, enjoy the Lake District, visit the Palace of Westminster to observe democracy in action, and when you have run out of money, you go to the nearest police station and introduce yourself: “Good afternoon, I am terribly sorry to bother you, but it seems that I find myself in your country slightly illegally. I wonder if there was any possibility that you could deport me back to my home country?”
As British police are very polite, they will ask you to take a seat, bring you some tea (make sure to order it “without milk, please”) and then they will efficiently proceed to deport you to your home country, for otherwise the tabloids would be up in arms about “illegal immigration” with riots ensuing. In effect, the United Kingdom will pay your return ticket. You may have to spend a few days in prison, but surely, that only adds to the adventure. (If you are less keen on knowledge of the detention and deportation system, you can of course simply make your way back to Ireland across the invisible border once again, without the UK ever having noticed your presence.)
The same thing also works with Guernsey and Jersey, the Channel Islands. I was once on a ferry from there to the UK and upon arrival on the south coast of England, the Border Control office was simply closed and a thousand people marched ashore unchecked. So much for the hysteria about unchecked immigration.
Beyond EU citizens, who will always be able to fly to Ireland (and then proceed to the UK), this applies to citizens from a number of other countries who enjoy visa-free entry to Ireland:
It looks like half the world will be able to avail itself of this trick. I, for one, will most definitely venture to the UK in the manner described after Brexit, just to make a point.
- More about Brexit.
- More travel articles and the FAQ on my life as a world traveler.
- More advice on immigration and passports.
- This article was also published by Medium.
I am just worried that someone will initiate a referendum against the Common Travel Area after reading this article.
“… Thanks to the folly of SOME British voters…”, please!!!
Many of us voted to stay in the EU and are quite horrified at the – albeit democratic – predictably disastrous outcome :(
Looking forward to your visit, nonetheless! x
True, let’s not forget the half of the population who mostly sought information and understanding before voting.
It’s bothering me more and more that somebody who shouts “sovereignty” as loud as he can has the same vote as someone who can actually tell the difference between the EU, the Council of Europe and Schengen.
Maybe referendums should have a multiple-choice test, with questions agreed by both sides, of course, to test the basic knowledge of voters.
Yes the referendum – that it was called at all, and then how it was phrased – was ridiculous. No-one could know then what the implications – which we can see more cleaarly now – would mean. No-one.
So de facto, not one person, had sufficient knowledge to responsibly vote.
It was therefore one of the most wildly irresponsible political acts ever. Followed closely by Theresa May calling an unnecessary election. Terrible, terrible, terrible all round.
Deport me already :P
We should all make more use of this option when traveling. :-)
True, but if they do it and get caught, bye bye future shengen visa. Also Do you really think that a small island country which once ruled 25% of the planet, is still a strong nuclear power, and has a ( corrupt) banking system more effective than Switzerland’s .. are so stupid as to allow this ?
Being illegal in the UK or in Ireland does not affect a Schengen visa at all, because none of these two countries are in Schengen.
And yes, based on my own experience crossing into Britain undetected, I believe that the UK will continue to allow this. (The UK government itself has announced that it will continue to allow unchecked travel in the Common Travel Area even in case of a no-deal Brexit.)
Interesting: tea, ticket but also prison :-D
People have to stop treating prison as something negative.
Yes, normally people go there for having done something good.
Even if the intention is not good, I encourage the individual to turn it into something positive: a state-funded time-out. No work, no screaming kids, and a library. Of course this only works with nice prisons, as I imagine them to be in the UK (although I may of course be in for a shock, but I will report on that).
If you don’t have any work or other deadlines or plans, and no kids or relatives or even pets to take care of, I suppose a few days in a nice prison wouldn’t be that bad.
If you do have obligations, that’s just adding on extra stress.
That’s actually the situation I found myself in when I went to prison for a week (unplanned and believing that I would stay there for much longer): lots of deadlines, clients, court dates, heaps of obligations, a ton of stress.
Being cut off from it all helped me to focus on my own wishes and realizing that the world will go on functioning well without me or my contribution. That’s when I decided to quit my job as soon as I would be released and spend more time walking through forests and reading novels. It was, despite the rather horrible condition I was in (Evin prison in Iran), a very liberating decision.
Yeah, but no amount of thinking and reassessing my life isn’t going to change the fact that I have kids that need to be fed, clothed, housed, educated, et cetera, with resulting financial and time obligations. :)
Yeah, once you got kids, it’s all over. :-(
You can just hope that they will grow up and join the military or the merchant navy soon.
Adventures are ok, but I can’t wish you to report on this issue ;-)
If I were Scotland, I’d start reinforcing the Antonine wall. And placing landmines between it and Hadrians Wall. Or at least curency exchanges and duty-free shops!!
Scotland already had everything prepared for independence:
Informative post! 👍
The UK keeps lists of overstayers and Visa misbehavers and not-havers. If one did what you propose doing, he would never be permitted to enter the UK through „normal“ means ever again. Rather inconvenient, and potentially embarrassing.
Indeed, people who are worried about receiving a UK visa in the future should not present themselves to the police, but return to Ireland on their own. As the border is invisible, nobody in the UK will ever have noticed their presence.
Cool, Britain should do more to tighten its links with Turkey and Venezuela. They both might assist the UK in rebuilding the defunct NHS.
Cuba also has lots of medical specialists, many of whom are now being kicked out of Brazil.
Thats absolutely right. Cuba has a health system with the world-wide best value-to-cost ratio. Whereas the west relies on expensive treatments with hightech drugs and questionable efficiancy, the Cuban put much more effort in health education and prevention. This is much cheaper, and keeps the incidence of many avoidable and civilisation-based diseases low.
Although Cuba has developed Cimavax, a vaccine/treatment against lung cancer. Even from Canada and the US, patients are flying to Cuba to receive the treatment.
I have been thinking if the correlation of wealth and health, which certainly exists, might become negative once a certain level of wealth (the level that is needed for a good life) is exceeded, because additional wealth is turned into cars and too much food, leading to civilization-based problems.
I assume you are talking about material wealth. In this context you are right, at least if you don’t include infectious diseases (tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis, cholera etc). But the incidence of diseases of affluence (Zivilisationskrankheiten) indeed increase with a rise in material wealth. What can counter-ballance this trend in the developed world is the individual educational level. There is a clear negative association of educational level and the risk for common diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerational diseases.
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