On the 31st of January 2020, the UK officially left the EU. This then trigged a ‘transition period’ as per the withdrawal agreement. This transition period has meant that operations between the UK and the EU have been conducted in the same way that they were previously were. However, from midnight on the 31st December 2020, the transition period will end and Britons will be faced with several changes.
The biggest change, of course, will be that the UK will no longer be an EU state. This will mean significant changes to government structure, such as no more MEP’s, and UK Judges will no longer be seated at the European Court of Justice. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other council members will no longer be required to attend European Council Summits and meetings, and there will be no need for a commissioner – meaning Julian King will be going down in history as the last UK commissioner.
How will trade change?
A trade deal has been one of the most debated topics since Brexit was first announced. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, we able to finally agree upon a trade deal that they felt benefitted both parties on the 24th December 2020, which was later approved and sent through parliament on the 31st December 2020, just before the end of the Transition Period. However, regardless of the trade deal, significant changes to the way we currently trade will be prevalent now the UK has left the single market.
- The UK will have more options on who they are allowed to trade with
Previously the UK was limited to the EU’s trading partners. Following the signing of the withdrawal agreement, the UK was able to negotiate, sign, and ratify trade agreements with countries that they previously were not able to. Under the transition period, countries were asked to continue to treat the UK as a member state, however, at the end of the transition, these trade agreements will come into full force. The UK has managed to roll over 20+ trade agreements with countries that they were previously engaged with, as an EU member, and has signed additional agreements with countries, such as Japan, with who they previously were not able to trade.
- Imports and Exports between the EU and the UK
After the end of the transition period, importers and exporters will need to make customs declarations, just as they would when dealing with any other country. The UK has taken the decision to introduce border controls from imports coming in from the EU in three stages starting January 1st, to allow the industry some extra time to make necessary changes. Nevertheless, current trade operations are still to be expected to change from January 1st, and it is imperative that businesses plan for this. For more information on what to prepare if your business regularly trades with the EU, check out our previous insight on ‘How should you be preparing to trade with the EU in January 2021?’
How can Animo help?
Our consultants are experts in dealing with trade and related tax queries. With operations in the UK and two other EU member states, we are able to offer expert insights into any queries you may have! If you have any worries about how your business operations may be affected following the end of the transition period, get in touch today and one of our specialist consultants will be able to effectively guide you through best business practice.
How will travel change?
The way Britons currently travel to and from the EU will be considerably affected after the end of the transition period.
- Check your passport
Free movement will stop between the EU and UK, ultimately resulting in more planning behind your European city break. For one Britons will need to make sure that they have at least six months left on their passports, as they would when travelling to a majority of other holiday destinations.
- Travel insurance
Britons will also need to ensure they are travelling with travel insurance, including health insurance, as the current EHIC card will no longer be viable after the end of the transition period, except under some exceptional circumstances.
- Driving into Europe
If you frequently drive to your European holiday destinations, you may need to prepare further for your next holiday. After the end of the transition period, drivers will need a ‘green card’ to prove that you are adequately insured. This will need to be acquired approximately a month before any planned travels, with more details expected from officials in due course. Some EU countries may also request that you are entering with an international driving permit (IDP), however, this has not been confirmed just yet. IDPs are easy to get hold of, just £5.50 from most Post Offices, which is good to know as they may become a necessary requirement for European Travels.
- Travelling with pets
If you frequently take your pets with you on your holidays, you might be changing the way you do so. The UK has applied to become a ‘listed country’ which will allow your pets to travel as freely as they would’ve before, though this has yet to be approved. Following the end of the transition period, if you want to take your pets on holiday, the current Pet Passport scheme will cease to work, and you will have to provide full medical certificates to show up to date vaccinations. This could involve waiting up to three months after a blood sample has been taken, resulting in a lot more planning behind a holiday.
- Roaming Charges
Currently, under EU law, mobile phone providers are not allowed to charge customers any extra for making calls between countries within the EU. However, from the 1st of Jan, following the end of the transition period, UK customers will not be covered by this rule. Many of the major phone providers have stated that they have no plans to introduce roaming charges, but if they change their minds, they have every right to charge more.
The EU has placed the UK on their no-visa list, meaning Britons will not need a visa for their summer holidays or other short period days. However, if you are planning to stay any longer than 90 days within a 180-day period, in the EU, you will need to apply for the appropriate visa or permit for this, whether that be for work, study, etc…
How can Animo help?
Our expert team is experienced across a range of issues relating to travel and visas, with specialist consultants who deal specifically with immigration. If you have any queries around travelling between the UK and the EU, in regards to any extra plans you will need to make to ensure smooth travels, get in contact with our team today.
How will Immigration differ?
Following the end of the transition period, free movement between the UK and EU will cease. From the 1st of January, the UK will be implementing a points-based system, similar to the Australian Immigration system. This will mean that Europeans or any other foreign citizens looking to move into the UK will have to meet certain requirements and then apply and pay for a visa. The UK has said that it will be treating both EU and Non-EU citizens equally, and looking to only allow those who can positively contribute to the UK’s economy.
There has also been separate guidance on UK nationals who currently live in the EU and are planning to return home. To find out more on requirements necessary for this, especially if you are looking to return with family members or dependents who aren’t UK citizens, check out our previous insight on ‘Implications for UK nationals living in the EU’.
How can Animo help?
Our specialist team at Animo Legal are well versed in the ways of Immigration. Whether it is your intention to;
- Join a family member already here
- Extend or secure your existing status
- Become a British Citizen
- Employ foreign workers
We can offer expert insights and you can rest assured that your enquiry will always be treated with professionalism and discretion.
Here at Animo, we understand that the upcoming changes may seem overwhelming and confusing for many. If you have any worries or queries in regards to changes you may be facing due to Brexit, in both your personal and professional life, get in touch with us today, via our contact form below, by calling us on +44 (0) 1268 760245 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, where a member of our team will be happy to assist you.