The UK is gearing up to leave the European Union at the end of this week, with the exit date being Friday, January 31, 2020, at precisely 11pm GMT. Brexit has dominated British politics for the past three years, but now Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has been passed and the UK’s exit from the European Union assured.
After January 31, the UK will enter into an 11 month transition period, during which the UK and EU will negotiate their future relationship.
Trade deals, fisheries, security and whether to extend the transition period past 11 months will all be up for discussion.
Negotiations between Brussels and the UK begin after February 25, after EU ministers approve a mandate for their chief Brexit negotiator – Michel Barnier.
The impending negotiations have thrown up a lot of questions, with some unsure how travel to European countries will work after Brexit.
Will my passport work after Brexit?
While on January 31 at 11pm GMT the UK is out of the EU, the 11 month transition period gives some cushion to any impending changes made due to Brexit.
The 11 month transition period allows for the UK and EU to negotiate their new relationship, and during this, the UK will remain in the EU single market, the customs union and paying into the budget.
This means the rights of British citizens in EU countries post-January 31 are protected, as are those if EU residents in the UK.
If it is not renewed this means you might not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
There is a government tool which allows you to see whether your passport will be valid for travel to the country ups are visiting.
Click here to use this tool, you will need your passport and travel details to hand.
For those needing to renew their passport, the process usually takes three weeks, but there is a premium service to fast-track if you need to.
If you are travelling to a European country after Brexit you may need additional documents with you.
You will not need a visa for short trips to countries Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and you will be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
However, for longer stays or to work and study in those countries you may need a visa or permit.
For driving, you will need an international driving permit (IDP) in some countries.
Check if the country you are visiting requires this here.
If you are taking your own car with you, you will need a green card which can be obtained from your vehicle insurance. You will also need a GB sticker.
There will be no changes immediately to flights, ferries and cruises, the Eurostar and Eurotunnel or bus and coach services between the UK and EU.
For those flying, travel procedures will not change for direct flights to and from the UK.
There should be no delays at airport security if you change flights in an EU airport.
However, some coach services to non-EU countries such as Switzerland or Andorra may not be able to run.
However official government guidelines state they are “working to make sure these continue with minimal or no disruption.”
Other changes due to Brexit are:
Cash over the value of £10,000 or the equivalent in another currency will need to be declared if being taken between the UK and any other country
For businesses, you may need to make a customs declaration should you take goods with you to sell abroad or use for business.