The impact of Brexit is still only starting to set in, especially the new 90-day rule which is hampering the activities of Britons planning using their vessels or second homes in the European Union.
Yesterday, the UK Cruising Association issued this statement:
“A survey carried out amongst Cruising Association (CA) members who keep their boats on the rivers and canals of Schengen countries has revealed that 80% are likely to take them back to the UK or sell and give up cruising altogether.
“Overall figures for coastal cruising boat owners are expected to be broadly similar, with the exception that some will sail out of Schengen waters to other cruising grounds.
“The failure of the UK and EU to reach an agreement means that UK citizens can now only visit Schengen countries for 90 days in every 180, making it impossible for boat owners to spend a whole season exploring Europe’s coasts and inland waterways.
“This will weaken long-standing cultural ties between UK and EU boating communities, and damages efforts to rebuild tourism post-Covid.”
The CA’s President, Julian Dussek, said: “Unless we can find practical ways of overcoming this 90-day rule, British flagged boats will become a rare sight in Schengen waters.”
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the CA’s Patron, recently called on The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP, the UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to step in to resolve the difficulties now facing the 30,000 or so British sailors who currently keep their boats in EU waters, and who are facing a threat to long-distance cruising.
The Cruising Association, which is the largest UK organisation focussed solely on supporting extended cruising in small boats, has launched a 180-day Visa Campaign to encourage individual EU states to reciprocate the British provision that allows EU citizens to spend 180 days per visit in the UK by making long stay visas available to UK boating visitors.
This would enable them to continue spending a full season cruising in EU waters and encourage them to keep their boats in EU marinas over the winter months.
For more details, please visit: https://www.theca.org.uk/180-day-campaign