Brexit News and Updates
Brexit, News and Updates. Brexit will affect every single one of us. News stories and updates will be posted here
Here’s what we know about your holidays in the EU after Brexit.
The EU rules apply to travelling to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein as well.
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Brexit news and updates
26th December - Brexit agreement with the EU
Ahead of next Wednesday's debate, here, is the Government's UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement Summary. This 34 PAGE document summarises the Agreements between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
This Agreement with the European Union is designed to honour the instruction of the British people – expressed in the referendum of 2016 and the general election last year – to take back control of our laws, borders, money, trade and fisheries. It changes the basis of our relationship with our European neighbours from EU law to free trade and friendly cooperation.
And this ambitious Agreement – carefully judged to benefit everyone – is the first the EU has ever reached allowing zero tariffs and zero quotas. We will preserve the immense benefits of free trade for millions of people in the United Kingdom and across Europe.
At the same time, our Agreement means that the UK will fully recover its national independence. At 11pm on 31 December, we will take back control of our trade policy and leave the EU customs union and single market. We will take back control of our waters, with this treaty affirming British sovereignty over our vast marine wealth. We will take back control of our money by ending vast payments to the EU. We will take back control of our borders and will introduce our new points-based immigration system at the start of next year. Most importantly, the agreement provides for the UK to take back control of our laws, affording no role for EU law and no jurisdiction for the European Court of Justice. The only laws we will have to obey are the ones made by the Parliament we elect.
While we made our fair share of compromises during the negotiations, we never wavered from the goal of restoring national sovereignty - the central purpose of leaving the EU. I have always said that Brexit was not an end but a beginning: the start of a new era of national change and renewal, the next act in the great drama of our country’s story. We will regain the ability to wield powers that have for too long been the sole preserve of Brussels. We will now take up these tools to deliver the changes that people yearn for and, in so doing, we will restore faith in our democracy.
The UK is, of course, culturally, spiritually and emotionally part of Europe. This agreement provides for close and friendly cooperation with our neighbours in all the many areas where our values and interests coincide. It is my fervent hope that this Treaty, rooted in Britain’s sense of itself as a proudly European country, will help to bring people together and heal some of the divisions created by the referendum over four years ago.
The responsibility now falls on our shoulders to take full advantage of the freedom of action our country has regained. Next year will be our opportunity to show what Global Britain can do, reasserting ourselves as a liberal free trading nation and a force for good in the world.
12th December - UK-EU trade talks reach critical moment ahead of Sunday's Brexit deadline
Brexit trade talks - the sticking points at a glance:
- Fishing rights: The UK wants total control over its own fishing waters after the Brexit transition period ends, with a 12 mile exclusion zone around the British Isles banning all foreign vessels. The EU wants the UK to stick to the Common Fisheries Policy, an EU agreement which gives member nations the rights to fish in European waters - more here.
- Level Playing Field: This is a concept all EU nations agree to, which ensures member nations cannot undercut others by setting their own rules on issues such as the environment, taxation and state aid. The EU says a zero-tariff trade deal is dependent on the UK agreeing to a level playing field. The UK disagrees, saying a fundamental aspect of Brexit is that the UK will be able to set its own rules.
- Governance of a deal: It's likely that any trade deal will eventually result in disputes. The EU wants the European Court of Justice to be the final authority in ruling over disputes. The UK says the ECJ should have no role and final decisions should be made by a bespoke arbiter.
But the statements from both sides suggested that while further discussions would be held, substantial movement on the key issues had not been made.
Mr Johnson has said no deal is "very likely", and four Royal Navy 80-metre armed vessels have been placed on standby to guard British waters from EU fishing boats in the event no agreement is reached on fishing rights after December 31st, when the transitional arrangement ends. Read more HERE
10th December - According to some British Newspapers and online articles - European commission indicates Britons will face ban on nonessential travel at end of Brexit transition
UK holidaymakers barred from EU after 1 January under Covid rules, from 1 January under current Covid-19 safety restrictions, with the EU commission indicating there will be no exemption for the UK.
Only a handful of countries with low coronavirus rates are exempt from rules that prohibit nonessential visitors from outside the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) – with the UK included only until the end of the Brexit transition period.
EU member states agreed in October to adopt a European council proposal to allow nonessential travel from a small group of countries with lower levels of Covid cases including Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
An EU commission spokesman last week said there were no plans to extend that to the UK. “This is a decision for the council to make,” he said.
Within the EEA, or Schengen-associated states, Norway has also confirmed it will bar UK visitors from 1 January, according to the Financial Times.
The imminent bracketing of British tourists with those of other non-EU countries such as Albania and Turkey underlines the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit. EU member states can override the European council recommendations in theory, should they wish to .
Leisure airlines including easyJet had reported a surge in bookings for 2021 in recent weeks after news of a vaccine, but many of those trips will be in doubt.
A UK government spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on decisions that could be taken by other states on public health matters.
Brexit: Boris Johnson says it's time to 'get ready' for no trade deal with EU
The PM says "there doesn't seem to be any progress coming from Brussels", but leaders there say talks will continue next week.
Boris Johnson says it's time to "get ready" for the prospect of no free trade deal with the EU on 1 January.
The prime minister claimed Brussels had "abandoned" the ambition but insisted "we always knew there would be changes" next year once the transition period ends "whatever type of relationship we had".
He suggested he is not completely walking away from negotiations, adding: "What we're saying to them is come here, come to us, if there's some fundamental change of approach."
The UK left the EU on 31 January this year.
After that the country entered a transition period, following many of the same rules meaning there was no change to trade and tariffs or things like freedom of movement.
Negotiators have since been trying to hammer out a trade deal to come into force when that runs out at the end of December.
Brexit, News and Updates 18th September A government campaign aimed at helping British travellers prepare for Brexit changes is being launched today.
The information, published in print, online and on social media, explains the new rules coming into force for trips to the European Union from 1 January, after Britons voted to sever ties with the bloc in the 2016 referendum.
People are being warned they may not be allowed to visit most EU countries if their passport does not have both six months left until it expires and is less than 10 years old
According to the guidance, European Health Insurance Cards may no longer be valid, so holidaymakers should purchase "appropriate travel insurance".
Brexit, News and Updates
Travellers may also need international driving permits in some countries, while other warnings include the switch to a different process for taking pets abroad, which takes four months, and the end of the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU.
"The campaign launching today will help British nationals prepare for visits to Europe by bringing together all the information they need to know in one place so they can plan in advance and get on with their trip", the Minister for the European neighbourhood, Wendy Morton said.
UK residents made 67 million visits to EU countries in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Brexit, News and Updates 14th June - British Ambassador and Secretaría de Estado de Migraciones send a joint message to UK Nationals in Spain
British Embassy Madrid
To read a full guide in English http://prensa.empleo.gob.es/WebPrensa/salamultimedia/documento_enlaces/covid/GUIA_BREXIT_ENG.pdf
The Ambassador and Minister acknowledged the many questions from UK Nationals about the new system and sought to provide clarity and reassurance. They were clear that the green residency certificate (whether A4 or credit card-sized) remains valid proof of residency status and rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, even after the end of the transition period.
Speaking about the introduction of the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero, Secretaría de Estado Hana Jalloul said: “If you already have a green residency certificate, you don’t have to apply for a new status as a resident in Spain, and the documents you already have as an EU resident in Spain remain valid. And most importantly, as long as you are legally resident in Spain before 31 December your rights are guaranteed… I encourage anyone who does not yet have your residency certificate to apply to the immigration authorities as soon as you can.”
Launching the video, HMA Hugh Elliott reminded UK Nationals of the rights protected by the Withdrawal Agreement: “You will be able to continue to live and work in Spain. UK state pensioners will continue to have lifelong healthcare access as long as they remain living in Spain (this also applies to residents who claim a UK state pension in the future) and your UK state pension will continue to be uprated. That’s why it is so important that you register as a resident as soon as possible.”
Brexit, News and Updates - 2nd June 2020
A MESSAGE FROM HM AMBASSADOR TO SPAIN, HUGH ELLIOTT
As you may be aware, negotiations are continuing on the UK’s exit from the EU and some of you have asked what that means for you as UK nationals living in Spain. Please remember that citizens’ rights are already protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, which was ratified by the UK and the EU in January. This guarantees your rights and means that as long as you are legally resident here by the end of 2020:
▶️ you will be able to continue to live and work in Spain
▶️ UK state pensioners will continue to have lifelong healthcare access as long as they remain living in Spain (this also applies to residents who claim a UK state pension in the future)
▶️ and your UK state pension will continue to be uprated.
Therefore, our key message remains to register as a resident as soon as you are able. Many of you have contacted us to ask when residency appointments will be available again, given the recent coronavirus lockdown. We understand that in those provinces that have now moved into phase 2 or 3 of the Spanish Government’s de-escalation plan, some offices are opening a limited number of appointments. However, many may not have their appointment systems back up and running yet. You should keep checking the Spanish Public Administration portal (https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/icp…/index.html) to see if appointments are available in your area. You may need to be patient as provinces are lifting restrictions at different rates.
Some of you have also asked us about the introduction of the TIE (Foreigner Identity Card), the residence document that will explicitly show you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. The Spanish authorities have not yet announced when this will be introduced. In the meantime, those registering for the first time will be issued with the green residency certificate.
HMA Hugh Elliott said: ““I know that because of the suspension of residency appointments during the state of emergency, many UK nationals are concerned about their ability to obtain the correct documentation before 31 December. I want to reassure people on two points. If you already have the green residency certificate, your core rights are protected and it remains a valid document, even after the end of the transition period.
If you don’t yet have your green residency certificate there is, likewise, no need for alarm. We continue to advise people to get an appointment as soon as you can. However, as long as you are living in Spain and can prove that you satisfy the legal conditions of residence (ie. sufficient income and access to healthcare) by 31 December 2020, your rights are assured even if you are not able to get the physical document before the end of the year.”
Another of our key messages continues to be to exchange your UK driving licence for a Spanish one. For those who are yet to do so, the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) has provided information on their website about the Jefaturas Provinciales opening for appointments in those areas that have moved to phase 2 or 3. The page also provides instructions on the measures citizens must take when attending their appointment. Further information is available here: http://www.dgt.es/…/Las_Jefaturas_Provinciales_de_Trafico_r….
Remember, you will be able to exchange your driving licence until the end of 2020 without taking a test, so please do make an appointment as soon as you are able to.
Am I OK to book a holiday in the EU?
If you are planning to travel to the EU in 2020, you can expect everything to stay the same as it has been while the UK was still an EU member.
Under the UK-EU deal, there will be a transition, or implementation, period, when all the EU rules and regulations will still apply in the UK.
The transition will start after Brexit and last until the end of 2020. The deal allows for an extension by one or two years but the UK government has ruled that out.
During the transition, the two sides will negotiate their future relationship.
So if you are booking a holiday for 2021 or beyond, your rights will depend on the future UK-EU relationship, which is yet to be negotiated.
What documents will I need?
The main question most people want to know is whether or not they will need a visa to get to the EU.
You can breathe a sigh of relief.
You will continue to be able to travel freely with a passport until the end of the transition period, in 2020. This applies to UK citizens going to the EU and EU citizens coming to visit Britain. An identity card is also accepted, for those who have it.
Even from 2021 onwards, UK citizens on a short stay in the EU – up to 90 days in any 180 days – will be granted visa-free travel, if they are travelling for tourism. You wouldn’t be allowed to work or study during that period. The EU says this will remain the case for as long as the UK gives the same visa-free travel to EU citizens who want to visit the UK.
However, after the transition, British people will need to apply for and buy a visa waiver. The Etias (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), which will cost €7 (£6.30) and be valid for three years, won’t come into force until 2021 though. It’s not just for UK citizens but all the other non-EU countries that have visa-free travel in the Schengen area (22 EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein).
SCHENGEN VISA CALCULATOR
Overstaying Schengen visa can result in a number of consequences: unpleasant interviews, fines, deportation, entry ban. You can get the most accurate and updated information about these from your consular and immigration lawyers
A really good, easy to use calculator to find out allowed times for multiple trips from the uk after Brexit
When it comes to travel to and from the Republic of Ireland, nothing will change. British and Irish citizens will be able to continue to travel freely within the Common Travel Area – the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.
Will there be bigger queues at the airport?
There will be no change to the current EU freedom of movement rules during the transition.
This means there will be no additional border checks, so the airport queues should not be longer.
If you are wondering whether to join the “EU” or the “non-EU” queue at your destination, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says you will be able to use “EU/EEA passport gates, until at least 31 December 2020”.
What happens after 2020 will be determined by the UK-EU talks on future relationship.
Do I have to get a new passport?
No. Your current passport will be valid for travelling anywhere within the EU until its date of expiry, during the transition.
From 1 January 2021 you will need to have at least six months left on an adult or child passport to travel.
You can use this tool to check a passport for travel to Europe.
Brexit, News and Updates - What about the European Health Insurance Card – EHIC?
The EHIC scheme will continue during the transition period.
About 27 million people in the UK have the EHIC, which entitles the holder to state-provided medical treatment in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It covers both pre-existing medical conditions and emergency care.
What happens to your EHIC in the future will be decided in the negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship.
In its advice published in September last year, the government recommended those travelling to the EU buy travel insurance to cover health care “just as you would if visiting a non-EU country”.
What will happen with compensation for airline delays?
Passengers will continue to be entitled to assistance or compensation if there are boarding problems, delays or cancellations.
The Department for Transport has confirmed anyone on a flight from the UK will have the same passenger rights that apply today, both during and after the transition.
What about ferries and Eurostar?
The government says your rights as a rail passenger using either domestic or cross-border rail services such as Eurostar will remain unchanged.
The EU regulation on rail passengers’ rights as well as on rules on ferries, coaches and buses is now incorporated into the UK law, so the protection for passengers will continue in the future.
Are mobile phone charges changing?
There’s currently a system in place that allows you to travel in the EU without being charged extra for “roaming” – so you can use your mobile for calls, text and data as you would in the UK.
This system will continue during the transition.
What happens after that will depend on what is agreed about the UK’s future economic relationship with the EU.
Even if nothing is agreed, the UK has passed legislation that would provide some safeguards to consumers, such as:
- a £45-a-month limit for data usage abroad, after which they would have to opt in for more
- informing consumers when they are about to reach their data allowance
What happens if I want to drive abroad – will I need a new licence?
If you want to drive on your holiday in Europe in 2020, you will be able to do so without any additional requirements.
What happens after the transition depends on the arrangements with each country.
Some countries will require drivers to have an International Driving Permit (IDP), especially for longer visits, which can be bought at post offices for £5.50.
Specific advice for each country is available from the government’s website.
For the UK citizens living in the EU, it’s a bit more complex. You may need to exchange your UK licence for a licence issued by an EU country.
Again, the government has issued specific advice for each country.
In some countries, if you wait until after the end of the transition period, you may need to take another driving test.
Is anything changing with duty free?
Duty-free shopping within the EU came to an end in 1999 and will not return during the transition.
Any changes after the transition will be determined by the EU-UK negotiations.
What about my pets?
Any pet passports issued in the UK will be valid during the transition.
If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time in 2020, you’ll have to visit your vet to get a pet passport.
Once the transition ends, the EU pet passports will no longer be valid.
The exact rules on what to do when travelling with your pet will depend on the future UK-EU deal.
The UK will be able to apply to the European Commission to become a “listed country” under the EU pet travel laws.
Being a listed country greatly eases travelling with pets.
The exact detail on what will happen if the UK becomes an EU listed country is explained on the government website.
The above information has been provided by Gov.uk and www.bbc.com/