Rishi Sunak predicts ‘optimistic’ future following Brexit deal
After months of negotiation and discussions going down to the wire, the UK and EU have finally agreed on a Brexit deal. From January 1, 2021, the deal will come into force following the end of the transition period. The full Brexit deal document amounts to 1,255 pages and details the UK’s relationship with the Bloc’s members from January.
Speaking about the publication of the deal Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I have a small present for anyone who may be looking for something to read in that sleepy post-Christmas lunch moment, and here it is, tidings, glad tidings of great joy because this is a deal.”
Mr Johnson acknowledged “the devil is in the detail” but insisted it would stand up to inspection from the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteers, who will put together a panel of lawyers to examine the deal in full.
He said to MPs on WhatsApp: “I truly believe this is the right deal for the UK and the EU.
“We have delivered on every one of our manifesto commitments: control of money, borders, laws, fish and all the rest.
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“But even more important, I believe we now have a basis for long-term friendship and partnership with the EU as sovereign equals.”
But what does the Brexit deal mean for passports and travel? Express.co.uk explains everything you need to know.
Travel may not be the top of everyone’s agenda at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic, but if you do need to visit an EU member state there are some key things you need to know.
Until January 1, 2021, you can continue to travel to Europe with your UK passport until it expires.
Passport rules: After months of negotiation and discussions going down to the wire, the UK and EU have agreed on a Brexit deal
However, after January 1, 2021 you will need to have at least six months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe.
This does not include Ireland.
If you don’t have enough time left on your passport, you will need to renew it before you travel.
You should not book travel unless your passport meets the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to.
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The new rules will apply for travel to and between most countries in Europe.
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- Vatican City
To get a new passport you need to apply for one, and can do so via the Government’s website here.
Other changes from January 1 include needing appropriate travel insurance with healthcare coverage, border checks and limits on what you can take to EU countries.
Boris Johnson: Brexit deal is ‘glad tidings of great joy’
From January 1, most people will not be able to use a UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access healthcare in Europe.
And so, you will need to get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad.
You will need to make sure it any pre-existing conditions which were previously covered by your EHIC.
Some people can apply for a new UK EHIC that they can continue to use after the transition period ends.
People who can apply for the new card include:
- UK students studying in the EU
- some British State Pensioners who live in the EU and their families
- EU nationals in the UK
Passport rules: After January 1, 2021 you will need to have at least six months left on your passport to travel
When you enter other countries, border checks may change from January 1.
At border control, you may need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
If you’re a tourist, you will not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. If you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total.
You may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel.
Passport rules: When you enter other countries, border checks may change from January 1
Taking certain items into EU countries
You will not be able to take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries from January 1.
There are some exceptions, for example, certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons.
Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website here.
You’ll need a certificate to take certain plants and plant products into EU countries once the transition period ends.
Again you can check this on the link above.
From January 1, 2021, you may need to bring extra documents with you if you intend to drive in EU countries.
You might also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have:
- a paper driving licence
- a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man
Travelling with pets
If you wish to travel with a pet, you should allow at least one month to arrange their documentation and any vaccinations they may need.
To travel with a pet you will need an animal health certificate (AHC).
You can read more about travelling with a pet here.
To read more about travelling to the EU from January 1, 2021, visit the Government’s dedicated website here.