The long-awaited day of Brexit is upon us! The 2017 announced withdrawal finally saw its judgement day on the 31st of January 2020. This further set off a transition period until the 31st of December, where the EU and the UK will discuss their future relationship.
While the UK is no longer part of the EU’s political bodies or institutions, it remains subject to EU law and remains part of both the EU customs union and single market (as per the transition period) which raises some questions for the travellers.
Here are some of the most important things travellers should know about.
What will happen during the transition phase until the end of 2020?
For 11 months from now, there won’t be any drastic changes in the picture. Therefore, the estimated 3.6 million EU citizens living in the UK and 27 million travellers are safe. They will not need a visa or an identity card to enter the country and will be able to consult a doctor free of charge.
Will Brexit have an effect on air, rail and ferry travel?
Not during the transition period. There will still be flights from the EU to Britain and vice versa as usual. However, just because passengers don’t initially see changes doesn’t mean they won’t soon follow! As new rules regarding take-off, landing rights, etc. will soon need to be declared.
However, things should remain the same for the most part for trains, coaches and ferries as well.
Will EU citizens need a visa to enter the UK in the future?
A valid identity card or passport is enough to put you in the clear for short stays of up to three months. Britain was also never apart of the Schengen free-movement area, so even before Brexit, there were border controls, but the documents you’ll need to enter the country will not change even after Brexit. At least until 2021 that is.
What will happen on the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland if you take a round trip?
According to various sources, everything is supposed to be the same! Which means the borders will not be closed.
Can you still drive in the UK without a British driving license?
International driving license will not be needed for EU citizens to drive in the UK.
Will Brexit make vacations expensive?
No – at least for now! During the Brexit negotiations, the British pound depreciated by around ten per cent against the Euro. Therefore, vacations are likely to be cheaper. However, it is important to keep in mind that London is and will always be an expensive city. So, it is quite unclear as to what “cheap” is in this context.
On the flip side of things, however, it might be slightly to be expensive if you are a British national visiting any country in Europe.
Will Roaming charges apply?
Roaming charges could be reintroduced after Brexit – the possibilities are stagnant but nevertheless, still exist!
What will change for the British themselves?
Everything will remain the same for the British until the transition period comes to end as well!
Are there any implications for non-EU citizens?
Not right now, but as of March 2019, there have been new e-gate accesses at airports. The purpose of these – according to Tracey Edginton, is to make it easier for visitors from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the USA, Singapore and South Korea to enter Britain.
Changes such as the above may be implemented but not until the end of the transition period, once again.
What will happen after the transition period?
As of 2021, EU citizens will have to carry their passports with them, as it will be mandatory. Identity cards will no longer be enough for entry into the country.
There will also be changes made for long-term stays; if you are visitor trying to study or work in the UK, then you might need to adhere to these rules. For example, you may need to have a permit or evidence showing that you’re stable enough to live in the country etc.
These changes are definitely not the only ones ahead, as the transition period comes closer to its end, more changes will be announced.