Brexit: Seven things changing in January and others that remain unresolved

By Paul Kerley
BBC News

duration17 hours ago

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Many aspects of the UK and the European Union’s future relationship remain uncertain – but we already know some things will change from 1 January 2021.

Here are some of the most important things for individual citizens to think about, and others which still remain unresolved.

1. European trips will need more planning

From January, to visit any EU country – or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – make sure you have:

2. You’ll stand in a different queue at borders

At border control, you should use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. Be prepared to show your return ticket 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 and Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein – for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

So, a four-day long weekend in Portugal at Easter, followed by a fortnight in France in June, would count as 18 days towards your 90-day limit.

From 2022, UK nationals must pay for an electronic authorisation to travel to the Schengen area – similar to the ESTA system in the US.

For countries outside the Schengen zone, the rules are similar – but check with the individual country.

3. Duty-free shopping will return

You can take advantage of duty-free shopping if you travel to the EU from 2021.

The amount of tobacco and alcohol you can bring back will be increased, but there’ll no longer be tax-free airport sales of goods like electronics and clothing.

VAT refunds for overseas visitors in UK shops will also be removed.

4. Moving to the EU? Expect more paperwork

From 1 January, free movement of people between the UK and the EU will end.

If you’re already living in an EU country, you will have certain protections under the withdrawal agreement.

But even then, you should check that country’s specific rules. You may need to register or apply for residency, get new documents, or meet specific requirements – like having a job.

For example, UK nationals living or planning to live in France will need to obtain new residence permits.

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If you plan to move to the EU in 2021, check the rules for each country.

People planning to move to Ireland will be largely unaffected, but rules on driving with a UK licence there may change if there is a no-deal Brexit.

5. New rules for EU citizens living in the UK

If you’re an EU citizen living in the UK by 31 December 2020 –

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