As you may have read in our recent article, the UK is currently going through a ‘transitional period’ during which Boris Johnson and his political colleagues will hold extensive negotiations regarding the relationship between the UK and the EU with European leaders.


These negotiations will be completed and the results announced by 31 December 2020, so a lot of the detail will not be certain until then. However, we are here to tell you about some things you can be sure of now that Brexit has entered its initial phase.


Holidays and Brexit




New blue passports will be issued from early 2020, being gradually phased in over a number of months. While this transition period is going on, you could be issued with either a burgundy or a blue passport. The government says that all passports issued from mid-2020 are planned to be blue.


Your passport will continue to be valid after Brexit (provided that it is in date) no matter which of the two colours it is.


More changes regarding passports are likely to come into action next year.


Visa’s and European travel:


For the next 11 months, nothing changes in terms of European travel. This means you will not need a visa to travel to countries which did not already require one.


The Home Office has said that from 1 January 2021 tourists on short trips (of under 90 days) to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland will not need a visa to travel. This remains to be seen as negotiations are continue, but we are hopeful this will not change come 2021.


Longer stays, or going to work in a country within the EU is very likely to require a visa.


The Etias (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) will cost seven euros (£6.30) and be valid for three years. It will come into force in 2021 and is based on current arrangements for non-EU countries having visa-free travel in the Schengen area.


British and Irish citizens will be able to travel freely within the Common Travel Area – the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.


Driving around Europe:


The current rules on international driving—and hiring cars—will continue to apply during the transition period until the end of 2020.


From 1 January 2021, drivers may need an international driving permit to drive in some EU countries, particularly if you have an older paper license. If you’re taking your own vehicle to Europe, you’ll need a ‘green card’ from your insurance company to show your insurance provides at least the minimum cover and a GB sticker.


Data roaming:


Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK and this will continue after 31 January 2020.


Brexit and Settled Status:


Can I still apply for settled status?


Yes. The EU Settlement Scheme is open for applications until 30 June 2021.


If you have five years’ continuous residence in the UK and are a citizen of an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland you can apply for settled status. You can also apply if you have a family member who is a citizen of one of these countries.




UK nationals living in the EU will continue to receive their state pension and will also receive the annual increase.

Under the terms of the withdrawal agreement, that will continue for anyone on a UK state pension or eligible for one before December 2020. However, for people who move to those countries from 2021 it will depend on the outcome of negotiations.


A possible complication may be that where UK citizen has spent time working in an EU country and has acquired pension rights there. Once more, it will depend on how negotiations go as to whether these can be carried over to the UK.


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If you have questions about this or any other type of legal enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7928 0276 or email into


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