Brexit - for UK residents, businesses and expats

Whichever side of the Brexit debate you favour, on one matter we can probably agree, that we are unlikely to make the journey without encountering a few potholes along the way.

This fact sheet should provide you with basic, easy to read information on the changes you will need to accommodate when we part company from the EU after 29 March 2019. The comments are based on a no-deal, worst case scenario. Which is the present position when this fact sheet was written.

DRIVING

Presently, your UK driving license is valid in all 28 countries. After Brexit this may no longer be the case.

You will either:

  • Need an international driving permit – which isn’t free – as well as your UK license.
  • With a no-deal outcome, your UK license cannot be swapped for a local version. Accordingly, ex-pats may need to take a driving test in their new country of residence.

Travelling to Europe in your car will require a certain amount of organisation after 29 March 2019.

MOBILES

Recently, free roaming for mobile use was established across the EU. If we leave this may change.

Seamless use of phones within the EU may no longer available to UK phone users.

TRAVEL TO IRELAND

At present there is passport-free travel between the UK, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

Obtaining the agreement of the EU to a continuance of this arrangement is proving to be one of the major stumbling blocks to an agreed settlement with the EU.

Watch this space…

PASSPORTS

If you want to travel to the EU after Brexit, you will need to have six months unexpired on your passport.

In preparation for this, readers are advised to update passports that are close to their expiry date.

The government has confirmed that red passports will continue to be issued – without the EU logo – until late 2019, when the much desired blue version will be available.

FIREARMS

Believe it not, at present EU citizens are allowed to travel between member states carrying a firearm. To do this a European Firearms Pass is required.

After Brexit EU passes will still be valid in the UK, and so EU citizens can travel to the UK with their firearm. UK citizens will have to apply to EU member states to carry their firearms across borders.

SAFETY STANDARDS FOR GOODS

Exporters to the EU after Brexit will need to check to see if their products meet the safety standards of the country of destination. They will no longer be covered by the commonly accepted standards within the EU, even if we maintain them.

Also, goods tested by a UK authority will no longer be accepted by the EU. Consequently, they would have to be tested twice.

CARS

Manufacturers of cars and car parts will have to apply for a “type approval” to demonstrate they are compliant with EU safety and environmental standards.

It has been mooted that the UK will automatically convert EU approvals into UK approvals for perhaps two years after Brexit.

BROADCASTING

Following Brexit, UK broadcasters will have to comply with EU national regulations as well as the UK regulations if they want to broadcast in the EU.

PERSONAL DATA

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will apply across the EU and the UK after Brexit.

Without a deal when we leave UK companies may find face problems getting data from member states as they would no longer be party to it.

ENVIRONMENT AND POLLUTION

The UK aims to match and perhaps exceed the standards set by the EU after Brexit.

Companies who use damaging chemicals may need two permits after Brexit: one for the UK and one for the EU. More red tape.

DRUGS

Chemicals that act as precursors in the manufacture of narcotics and other drugs can be traded freely within the EU bloc.

After Brexit, UK manufacturers may have to obtain an expensive license to trade with the EU.

BUSINESS GRANTS

In the event of a no-deal Brexit the UK government has promised to continue funding a number of EU grants until 2020.

Essentially, after Brexit EU funding will likely cease and we recommend that if you are presently funded by the EU you contact the relevant UK government department to see if there really will be equivalent support from the UK after 29 March 2019.

BUSINESS & INVESTMENT

The present enforcement by the EU of unfair competition practices by larger corporations will cease to have effect in the UK when we leave the EU.

In its place the UK Competition and Markets Authority will take over and they may not operate to the same standards as their EU counterparts.

SHIPPING

The UK has said that it will continue to recognise EU certificates for EU workers on British boats, but there is no confirmation from the EU that this offer will be reciprocated.

After Brexit, UK ships may have to submit security information and get an exemption before they are allowed to dock at an EU port.

CONCLUSION

Hopefully, many of the changes and restrictions listed in this fact sheet will be ironed out if, we achieve an agreement on the terms of our exit from the EU this year.

In the meantime, we must plan for the no-deal outcome and deal with the issues that involves.


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