The European Union (EU) has agreed to extend the Brexit deadline, which had been set for this Thursday, to January 31, 2020.
According to the BBC, EU Council President Donald Tusk referred to the agreement as a “flextension,” meaning that the UK will be able to leave before the deadline in the event that a deal is approved by the UK’s Parliament.
CNN reports that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now pushing for a new general election; under the terms of his proposal, the election would take place December 12, with the new Parliament sitting before December 23. Two of the most prominent opposition parties, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party, have released their own proposal for a new election, leaving the Labour party as the remaining major holdout.
In terms of travel impact, the news means that the pound will likely rise in value in the days ahead, according to Pound Sterling Live. A weak pound makes vacations to the UK relatively cheaper and outbound travel from the UK more expensive, while a strong pound has the opposite effect.
The extension also means that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which has had a significant impact on the travel industry, will remain for a while longer. Brexit uncertainty was one of the factors blamed for the recent collapse of iconic UK travel brand Thomas Cook. That company filed for insolvency, stranding hundreds of thousands of travelers and prompting the UK’s largest repatriation effort since World War II. Following Thomas Cook's collapse, all of the company’s UK storefronts were acquired by independent UK travel agency Hays Travel.
In terms of air travel, both the United States and the European Union have deals in place to allow flights to and from the UK to continue, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.