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The UK Has Now Officially Left The EU And This Is What Will Change

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The UK Has Now Officially Left The EU And This Is What Will Change

As of 11pm on 31 December, the UK will officially have left the EU. But what does that mean for us and how will our lives change?

A deal was finally secured between the UK and the EU in last-minute talks on Christmas Eve, following years of negotiations, but what does it mean for normal people?

The big one for a lot of us is how travel will change. Obviously, travel is pretty much off the cards for most of us at the moment (thanks, Covid) - but when we are able to move more freely, we'll likely notice some changes.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Whereas UK nationals were usually able to travel to and live in EU countries without a visa, it is now only for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

You'll also need at least six months remaining on your passport - except for trips to Ireland. As usual, you're advised to get travel insurance with health cover and free roaming on your phone is no longer guaranteed. European Health Insurance Cards, (EHIC) cards will be valid until they expire.

It also means that when you do fly abroad, you'll be in the non-EU country queue (you know the one that's always massive and slow-moving) - so that's something to look forward to.

Not only that, but because of the pandemic, travellers from non-EU countries, which will soon be the UK, will not be able to visit the EU except for certain essential reasons.

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A thing of the past. Credit: PA
A thing of the past. Credit: PA

One plus point will be that duty-free shopping will be increased for tobacco and alcohol, so you will now be able to bring 18 litres of still wine and 42 litres of beer back in to the country.

If you were planning to move to a country in the EU, you will no longer have the automatic right to live, work, study or retire there - you will need the correct visa for that country.

The Erasmus scheme has also been cancelled - at the request of the UK government - meaning studying as part of it is no longer an option for UK students. It will be replaced by the Turing Scheme, which is said to come into effect from September 2021.

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In the 2016 referendum, 48 percent of UK voters wanted to remain in the EU. Credit: PA
In the 2016 referendum, 48 percent of UK voters wanted to remain in the EU. Credit: PA

Immigration will now be based on a points system, with costs for student and work visas varying from £348 to £1,408 to apply for.

And, we couldn't possibly forget the fish, could we? It's been an unexpected and much-discussed point of contention while trade talks have been underway, but you'll be over the moon to know that over the next five and a half years, the UK will get a bigger share of the fish from its own waters.

The UK could also choose to ban EU fishing boats from 2026 - so you can expect more debates around fishing to take place then.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, brexit

Amelia Ward
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