Schengen Area survey launched by RYA

19 Aug 20

The Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) online survey, The UK has left the EU: The impact of Schengen rules on UK boaters, is now open for responses. The survey aims to quantify how many recreational boaters will be adversely affected if no alternative is given than to comply with the Schengen Area’s rule after the end of the transition period.  

The RYA wish to learn more about the recent boating movements of UK recreational boaters, as well as plans for future travel, especially to countries included in the Schengen Area. Participants in the survey will be asked to complete questions regarding subjects such as the frequency of their boating trips abroad, their level of concern regarding possible access changes, as well as questions about which country they predominately keep their boat in.  

The Schengen Area covers 26 countries and includes many popular cruising areas such as the North Mediterranean Coastline. Currently, the RYA understands that travel to the Schengen Area will be visa free for UK citizens after the transition period ends on the 31 December 2020. However, it appears that improving access beyond that permitted under the EU wide Schengen 90 day in a 180-day rolling period (the Schengen rule) is not part of the UK's negotiations with the EU. This would have a significant impact on UK citizens’ rights to travel in Europe after the end of the transition. Under current arrangements, EU citizens will be able to visit the UK on a standard visitor visa for 6 months at a time.

RYA Director of External Affairs, Howard Pridding, said that as the RYA continues to engage with Government officials and politicians about Brexit and that they are keen to understand the size and variety of the potential issues that could arise should the Schengen rule not form part of further negotiations with the EU.  

“I would like to really encourage recreational boaters to take part in this short survey and contribute to the RYA’s overview of boater’s current travel habits,” he said. “The survey should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete, but your answers will play a vital role in quantifying understanding of the potential issues involved and the overall data collected will strengthen the significant lobbying activity that we are undertaking on outstanding Brexit issues for recreational boaters."

The survey is open for responses until 13 September 2020.

To take part in the survey please click here. We welcome responses from RYA members and non-members alike.

If you have any questions about the survey or require further information on Brexit, please visit the Current Affairs Hub on the RYA website. Alternatively, if you are a member of the RYA and require advice, please email