Brexit: What will change from January 1?

Some aspects of life in the UK are going to change regardless of whether a Brexit trade deal is secured with the European Union.

Here is what to expect once the transition period ends on December 31.

– Passport

Getting into the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will no longer be as straightforward.

You will need to renew your passport if it has less than six months until it expires, or if it is more than 10 years old – a process that costs between £75.50 and £85.


– Overseas healthcare

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – which gives you the right to state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay – will also no longer be valid.

Instead, the Government has advised people to get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before going abroad.

– Border control

You may have to show your return ticket at a border control post and prove you have enough money for your stay.

Tourists will be able to travel without a visa to Schengen area countries, which include most EU nations, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Travellers will be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period, but may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel.


– Travel

UK citizens will still be able to drive in EU countries but will need a green card and GB sticker if taking their own vehicle.

The pet passport scheme will no longer be valid. Instead, owners will need to get the appropriate vaccinations and an animal health certificate ahead of travel to the EU or Northern Ireland.

The guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end, so travellers are urged to check with their phone operator to find out about any potential charges.

– UK citizens moving to the EU

UK nationals already resident in an EU country have certain protections under the Withdrawal Agreement, although they may have to apply for residency depending on that country's rules.

For British citizens planning to move after January 1, the automatic right to live and work in the EU ceases when the transition period ends.

This means they will need to apply in accordance with that country's immigration rules.

– Immigration

A points-based immigration system will be introduced for all foreign citizens, excluding the Irish, wanting to work, live or study in the UK.

It will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and aims to attract people who can contribute to the UK's economy, according to the Government.

– EU citizens living in the UK

The Government has pledged to protect the rights of EU citizens, and those from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, living in the UK by December 31.

EU citizens will have to register with the EU settlement scheme before June, with successful applicants granted the right to continue living and working in the UK indefinitely.

People who have lived continuously in the country for five years can obtain settled status, while those with less than five years' residence should be eligible for pre-settled status, which can later be converted into settled status.