Brexit has brought many welcome changes for the Britons who voted for the UK to leave the European Union (EU). However, the country’s departure also means a certain amount of uncertainty. Many people are now unsure as to how holidays and travel in the future will be impacted by Brexit.
The UK managed to quit the EU with a deal which means changes are not set to take place…quite yet.
For the rest of 2020, travel will largely remain the same for Britons.
Valid passports will still be used as normal, the cost of making calls, using the internet and sending texts will remain the same, and coaches and trains from the UK to the continent will be unaffected.
However, it’s set to be a different story come 2021, the government has warned in its latest travel advice.
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Brexit news: The country’s departure means a certain amount of uncertainty for holidays
Brexit news: You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you don’t have enough time left
New rules will come into place next year and the UK government issued fresh guidance to Britons today.
The government announced online on Thursday: “Until 1 January 2021, you can continue to travel to Europe with your UK passport until it expires.
“New rules will apply for travel to Europe from 1 January 2021.
“You’ll need to have at least six months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
However, the EU’s definition of ‘six months left’ may differ from the date in the passport – and if passengers do not have enough time left until their passport’s expiry date then they risk being turned away from EU airports.
The government points out: “If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.
“Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the six months needed.
“You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.”
Brexit news: The EU has strict restrictions on passport validity for those entering from outside
This is because the EU has strict restrictions on passport validity for those entering from outside the Union.
Passports issued by non-EU member countries are deemed as expired after 10 years validity.
This poses a problem for certain Britons as, up until September 2018, the UK would take “unspent” time on a passport into consideration when renewing the document.
This meant passports could be issued that were valid for up to 10 years and nine months.
With the UK now no longer part of the EU, member countries will not recognise those extra nine months on such documents, despite the UK passport’s expiry date remaining valid for the UK and other non-EU countries around the world.
Consequently, Britons heading to the EU in 2021 with passports issued before September 2018 need to double-check they have sufficient validity to avoid being turned away by airlines.
The issue will not apply to those who had passports issued after this date as the government subsequently ended the practice of nine month’s grace. However, they will still need to make sure they have at least six months left on their passport.