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CURRENCY

British pound falls again and heads for parity against euro

The value of the pound has tumbled against the euro post-Brexit referendum, with some experts predicting the two currencies could end up at parity. The falling currency can have a huge impact on the lives of expats in the EU.

British pound falls again and heads for parity against euro
Photo: Money Sharma

At the time of writing, the British pound is worth €1.17, down from around €1.40 before the June 23rd referendum that saw the majority of British voters opt to leave the EU.

This comes as a knock-on effect from the pound falling against the US dollar overnight, seeing lows that haven't been reached since 1985.

“The pound sterling recorded a bad performance after poor economic figures from the UK, including a stronger slowdown in services,” Eric Viloria of Wells Fargo told the AFP news agency.

This drop has seen the value of the euro drop slightly against the dollar too, with one euro currently worth 1.1050 dollars.

Some analysts have suggested that the pound and the euro will eventually reach parity.

David Meier, an economist at Julius Baer, said he would “not be surprised” to see parity within the next 12 months.

“We believe that weakness will extend gradually beyond the first shock reaction, as the fundamental data will continuously turn pound-negative,” he wrote in a research note soon after the referendum. 

Impacts of a weaker pound on Italy

As the value of the pound continues to tumble, many Brits will see their summer holiday budgets rise considerably.

Over three million Britons visit Italy every year,  with most of those trips made in the summer.

Tourism businesses, many operated by Brits themselves, fear the fall in currency may impact future bookings unless the value of the pound picks up.

Those working in operating tours or renting out property – popular jobs among Brits in France – are likely to see continued strains on their business if the pound keeps dropping.

Read more: British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters

The falling pound also spells bad news for any retirees living in Italy who depend on their UK pensions or investments for income.

And any Brits in the UK who have been planning to escape to Italy and buy a dream home in the country may have to rethink their plans.

Of course, the currency uncertainty brings good news as well, with those in Italy keen to visit the UK never having a better excuse to cross the channel and enjoy a cheap holiday.

Read more: The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy

And of course for those selling their house in Italy to return to the UK , there may be no better time.

However, looking on the positive side, it was only a few years ago that the pound and the euro were almost level and life went on pretty much as normal. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Passports: What are the post-Brexit rules for dual-nationals travelling in Europe?

People who have more than one citizenship often hold multiple passports, so what does this mean for crossing borders? Here's what you should know.

Passports: What are the post-Brexit rules for dual-nationals travelling in Europe?

For many readers of The Local, gaining citizenship of the country where they live helps them to feel more settled – but there are also travel benefits, including avoiding the long ‘non EU’ queue when coming back into the Schengen zone.

But this week the problems associated with travelling while holding dual citizenship came to light, leaving many people wondering what they should know when they are entering different countries.

Put simply – which passport should you use? And do you have to carry both with you?

Financial Times journalist Chris Giles tweeted that the UK Border Force “detained” his dual-national daughter while she was travelling from France into the UK with her German passport – and not her British one. 

He went on to say that UK border guards released his daughter. According to Giles, the border staff said she should have had both passports with her “and asked why she was travelling on her German one”.

The rules on dual-nationality have not changed, but now that the UK is not in the EU, there are strict rules on non-Brits who enter the country (and vice-versa) which has made it trickier for travel.

For instance, UK nationals receive a stamp in their passport when entering Schengen member states because they are only allowed to stay up to 90 days within an 180 period (unless they have a visa or residency card).

READ ALSO: Brexit: EU asks border police not to stamp passports of British residents 

People coming from the EU to the UK can generally visit as a tourist for up to six months without a visa – but are not allowed to carry out any work while there.

So which passport should you show?

The first thing to be aware of is there are no specific rules on travelling with more than one passport. 

Travellers can choose to use whichever passport they prefer when going to a country. 

But one thing to note is that it’s worth using the passport that is best suited to your destination when travelling there. Each country has its own set of immigration and visa rules that you’ll need to research closely.

It could be that one passport is better suited for your trip – and you may be able to avoid visa requirements.  

READ ALSO: How powerful is the German passport?

In the case of the UK, many people are still getting to grips with the different rules that apply because it’s not in the EU anymore.

A question submitted to the Secretary of State for the Home Department in September 2021 provided some insight into this issue. 

The question from Labour’s Paul Blomfield asked what steps the UK government “is taking to enable dual UK and EU citizens to travel to the UK on an EU member state passport without having to further prove their UK citizenship?”

The Conservatives Kevin Foster said: “Border Force Officers examine all arriving passengers to establish whether they are British citizens, whether they require leave to enter or if they are exempt from immigration control.

“Where the passenger claims to be British, but does not hold any evidence of British citizenship, the officer will conduct all relevant checks to satisfy themselves the passenger is British.

Border control at Hamburg airport.

Border control at Hamburg airport. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christian Charisius

“When dual nationals who are eligible to use e-gates travel to the UK, they will enter via the e-gates without being examined by an immigration officer.

“We recommend all dual nationals, including EU citizens, travel on their British passport or with evidence or their British citizenship to minimise any potential delay at the border or when commencing their journey.”

The Local contacted the UK Home Office to ask if there was any official advice. 

A spokesman said: “An individual can present whichever passport they desire to enter the UK, however they will be subject to the entry requirements associated with the nationality of the passport they present.”

They said anyone who is looking for more information should check out guidance on entering the UK and on dual nationality.

In short, if you present a German passport on entry to the UK you will be treated the same as any other German citizen – which can include being quizzed about your reasons for visiting the UK – as border guards have no way of knowing that you are a dual-national. 

Do I have to carry both passports?

There’s no rule requiring you to have both passports, but you won’t get the benefits of a British passport (entry into the UK without questions) if you don’t show it.

Likewise if you are a French-British dual national and you enter France on your UK passport, you will need to use the non-EU queue and may have your passport stamped.

Should I think about anything else?

An important thing to remember is that if you apply for a visa and register your passport details, the same passport has to be used to enter the country. 

It could also make sense to travel with both passports, just in case. 

However, note that some countries – like the US – require that US nationals use a US passport to enter and leave the States even if they are dual nationals. 

In general, it’s best to use the same passport you entered a country with to depart.

The rules and systems are different depending on the country. But many countries require people to show their passport when leaving – and they will either stamp or scan the passport – this is how authorities know that a foreign visitor hasn’t overstayed their time in the country. 

So if your passport is checked as you leave the UK, you should show the one you arrived with, just to ensure there is a record of you arriving and leaving.

However as you enter France/Germany/other EU destination, you can show your EU passport in order to maximise the travel benefits of freedom of movement.

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