‘Luca, I’m a bit worried. I heard mum and dad talking the other day and it was something to do with that Brexit thingy. Something that might effect us travelling to Europe.’
‘I didn’t hear them say anything but even so, why would that worry you?’ Luca was in his favourite horizontal position on the sofa and didn’t even open his eyes as he replied.
‘Luca, have you forgotten that I am Spanish? I know we live in the UK now and I am happy here, but I do actually have a Spanish passport. What if the authorities deem me an illegal alien or something? What if I want to go back and visit my old friends at some point? What if I make it out of the country but then they don’t let me back in again? What if I get split up from Mum and Dad?’
‘That’s a lot of what ifs Cocoa! I think you need to keep your fur on and stop hyperventilating – you know it’s not good for your nerves. Just ask Mum about it. I am sure she will explain it properly to you. Plus you are not green and slimey so I don’t think you would get confused as an alien. Although now I come to think about it, you could have a striking resemblance to an Ewok from that Star Wars planet I saw on telly recently. Put a cloak and hood on you and nobody would tell the difference!’
‘Gosh Luca, you really are a dufas. Ewoks are not real and we not even talking about those types of aliens’. Luca is now starting to look worried as it looks like he is finally taking on board that we might have a problem. But no, it appears he is more worried about Ewoks not being real as he then said, ‘What do you mean Ewoks are not real? Tell that to Hans Solo – I am sure he would disagree with you.’
I decide not to waste my woofs in replying but think it might be best to bring in the big guns. ‘Mummmmmmmmmm,’ I shout, ‘I’m worried. What’s this Brexit thingy?’
‘Well Cocoa, if I knew that and could explain it in full detail, I would probably have a very important job and be helping to run the country’. Mum popped her head round the kitchen door as she replied with a big grin on her face. ‘Unfortunately I am a bit busy getting your tea at the moment so don’t have time to explain. Why don’t you doggle it on your Pawpad and see what you can find out? We can then have a proper look after tea.’
‘Tea?’ Luca moves very swiftly at this point from his still horizontal position on the sofa. ‘Oh my goodness Cocoa, it’s teatime, why didn’t you say? You can’t distract mum at this point. It’s crucial’.
‘Gosh Luca, do you have to think of your stomach at every opportunity? There are more important things in life, such as your beloved step sister being deported as an illegal alien. What would you do without me, I wonder?’
Luca muttered something under his breath which suspiciously sounded like, ‘Have a much quieter and peaceful life,’ but I wasn’t sure. I glared at him anyway as I instructed him to find my Pawpad. I was working earlier and I couldn’t remember where I had put it and when Luca does finally move off his sofa, he has a very good habit of finding things – probably because his nose is so big!
‘Don’t worry Cocoa. While you have been stressing about getting deported, I have already doggled ‘pet travel after Brexit thingy’. The gov.uk site is quite informative don’t you know? They have written a lot about it even though they don’t really have a clue what’s going on! It appears that the information is changing all of the time. However, first of all it depends on whether it does actually go to a no deal’.
Luca checked to see if he had my attention and then continued with, ‘If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with a no deal, it would become a third country for the purposes of the EU Pet Travel Scheme. However, it then depends on how they categorise the UK from there. There are three possibilities: listed: part 1, listed: part 2 or unlisted.
If the UK is listed: part 1 then hopefully there shouldn’t be many changes to the current regulations.
If the UK should become a listed: part 2 country, you would still need a micro chip and rabies vaccination, but they also state that both of these would need to be checked by an official veterinarian at least 21 days in advance before travel.
If the UK is listed as an unlisted third country, you would need to speak with your official veterinarian at least 4 months in advance of your travel date and I presume that this scenario would not be as straight forward’.
Luca finally paused and then decided to give me his opinion. ‘But I think reading between the lines the main things to ensure are that you have an up to date rabies vaccination and a microchip. I would also think it would be best to plan ahead and leave plenty of time to make sure all correct arrangements are made and obviously consult the proper authorities. I don’t think you would be deported and I am sure once the dust is settled you will be able to travel between the two countries with relative ease.’
Luca finally finished all of this information with an authoritative wave of his paw and a slamming down of my Pawpad – obviously hamming up his role of information guru for a change. Normally it’s me that gives the advice. However, even taking his advice with a pinch of dog biscuit, I think most of it made sense but it wouldn’t hurt for me to keep an eye on the gov.uk site myself as time went on, just to double check. But for the time being my mind seemed a little easier about the situation. Anyway, I had lost my captive audience as tea was being served and Luca was happily tucking into that – all thoughts of illegal aliens and his beloved step sister being deported completely forgotten!
For all the latest information, check out Pet Travel on the gov.uk site or just doggle ‘pet travel after Brexit thingy’.
Woofs, Cocoa from Tuffdogs Stuff repawting for The Barking Bugle