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How passports and healthcare for holidaymakers might be affected.

MILLIONS of us rely on our European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when travelling on the Continent, but what will happen to it now the UK has voted to leave the EU? An up-to-date EHIC means you are entitled to the same level of healthcare as a resident of the European country you are visiting.

It's not a cover-all replacement for travel insurance should something go wrong but it certainly helps.

Thanks to the EU British people are entitled to a free EHIC, which replaced the old E111 cards.

This gives us the right to access healthcare for free when visiting other European countries. Remain campaigners said that following a Leave vote Brits could lose access to this vital service. The only way to get care in Europe would be to take out costly private insurance.

But those on the Leave side pointed to Switzerland and Iceland as just two examples of countries outside the EU that use the EHIC scheme.

They claimed it was scaremongering to claim British holidaymakers would lose access to European healthcare after a Leave vote.

It is in the EU's interest to continue the arrangement as the UK has given PS5.8bn more to EU countries for medical costs than we've got back, they say.

And though UK passports and driving licences are "EUbranded" we will not need to get new ones.

For the time being new UK driving licences will continue to show the EU symbol and British passports will bear the words "European Union" on the cover.

But within a few years when you renew either your passport or driving licence the design will change.

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Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 25, 2016
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