Tuesday, November 30

What British passport holders can expect after Brexit



On January 31st, the UK will leave the European Union, but what does this mean for British passport holders?

Travel firms are insisting that everything will remain the same for holidaymakers after Brexit.

Warnings were issued last year about potential restrictions for foreign travel in the event of the UK withdrawing from the EU without an agreement.

These included passports needing to be valid for six months after the end of trips and passengers not being allowed to use border queues designated for EU passport holders.

Will my passport still be valid after Brexit?

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel trade organisation Abta, said that the transition period means there will be no changes when Brexit happens at 11pm on Friday.

He said: Because the UK is set to have a deal with the EU when it comes to travel, everything will remain the same after January 31 so people can continue to travel as normal.

Travellers will still be able to use their UK passport at EU gates at border check points for now, at least until the end of December 2020.

Also, holidaymakers and business travellers won’t need to have six months left on their passports to travel to the EU.

Passports do however need to be valid for the whole of any trip.

Will I need a visa to travel to European countries?

A survey of 2,004 UK adults commissioned by the ferry industry earlier this month indicated that more than two-thirds of people (68 per cent) were not sure what changes will apply for travel to EU countries after Brexit, with 30% incorrectly believing they would need a visa.

Trade organisation Discover Ferries director Emma Batchelor said: “It is clear that there is a lot of confusion around travel to EU countries this year, resulting in many people delaying their holiday plans.

I would therefore like to reassure anyone looking to travel by ferry this year that there are no changes. All valid passports, EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) cards and pet passports will still be authorised for travel to the EU and there will not be any new requirement for visas to Europe or passports to travel to the British Isles.

A spokesman for Airlines UK, which represents UK-based carriers, said inbound and outbound flights will continue as normal during the implementation period.

He called for a standalone air services agreement on aviation to be negotiated “as soon as possible” to protect flights from 2021 onwards.

This will ensure our industry can continue to thrive and provide vital economic connections and tourism links to the advantage of UK and EU passengers, he said.

Holidaymakers unsure how Brexit will affect travel plans can visit www.abta.com/brexit for Abta’s latest advice.

Will the EU passport be replaced with the blue design?

According to the Home Office, the new blue passport design will start being issued from early 2020. Blue passports will be phased in over a number of months.

If you renew your passport during this initial period, you may be issued with either a blue or a burgundy British passport. All styles of passport will be equally valid for travel.

All British passports issued from mid-2020 will be blue.