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How will Brexit affect travel to the EU? 

With Brexit on the horizon and still no deal in place as of yet, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding pretty much every aspect of British life. It is not clear whether we will leave with the deal that Theresa May has proposed, whether we will lead a hard Brexit leaving with no deal, or whether there will be a “people’s vote”. In the people’s vote, many are calling for the option to stay in the EU now that we know what the deal would be otherwise, or lack of a deal.

One of those aspects in which uncertainty is rife is travel to the EU after we have officially left the European Union. The truth is, of course, you will be able to travel to the EU after Brexit. You can travel to countries outside of the EU now, but with greater difficulty then travelling internally within the EU.

But, in what way we exit will determine how expensive or hard it will be to do so. Fleet Insurance investigates.

After Britain leaves the EU, British Passports will still be valid for travel from the United Kingdom to the European Union. It does not matter what the intention of your travel is, leisure or a business trip, or anything in between, you will still be able to travel for all intents and purposes.

Nevertheless, in the event of a no-deal outcome, there are some things to consider. Citizens of the UK who are planning on taking a business trip or a holiday in the EU or even those who have trips booked after the 29th of March 2019, should be aware that the current free movement for British passport holders may come to end once the UK leaves the EU in such a fashion.

Prior to Travel


At present, in the event of no deal being reached, the UK Government has recommended that when travelling from the UK to an EU country after 29th March 2019, you should make sure that you have at least six months left on the validity remaining before the expiring date. In other words, it has to be no older than nine years and six months on your day of travel to the EU.

How will Brexit affect my passport?

If you a person looking to travel from the UK to EU on a British passport on the 30th March 2019, then your British passport will need to have an issue date which is no earlier than the 1st of October 2009.

In terms of the design, if you have a UK passport which is issued before the UK leaves the EU, it will retain the current burgundy design. Meanwhile, those which are issued after the 29th of March will have a dark blue front and back cover.


Passports which are issued prior to Brexit will still be valid for travel across the whole globe, provided that they are still valid.

While freedom of movement for those passport holders from the UK throughout the EU will still continue up until the 29th of March 2019, in the event in which no deal is reached, the rules for UK citizens could well change. Travel processes to all other non-EU countries will remain unaffected, as will the cost of a UK passport post-Brexit.

All the new rules will apply to all passports which are issued in the UK, Guernsey, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Jersey. Therefore, if you are planning on travelling to the EU around the time of Brexit and your passport was issued on or before the 1st of October 2009, then it is advisable to renew your passport before your travel date.


From the year 2021, non-EU nationals who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area (this includes British travellers) will need to request prior authorisation to visit Schengen countries under the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).


This system is designed to reduce the “migration, security or public health-risk” from nationals of visa-exempt third counties, which is what the UK will become after Brexit is officiated.

These ETAS will be similar to the Esta scheme for the US. People who hold an EU passport or ID card, as well as a British passport, will be able to leave the UK on the British passport but enter Europe on the EU document.

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