LONDON (AP) – So far, most British and EU citizens have not experienced the realities of Brexit. Although the UK seceded from the European Union on 31 January, it adheres to the rules of the block until the end of this year as part of a transition period to a new economic relationship.
Everything is set to change that.
On 1 January, Britain began its new, more distant relationship with the EU after nearly five decades of close economic, cultural and social integration.
The transformation of Britain’s economy and people is the most dramatic since World War II, more so than when the country joined the European Economic Community in 1973.
“It’s going to be a huge shock to our economy and it’s going to happen immediately,” said Anand Mann, UK director of Changing Europe and professor of European politics and foreign affairs at King’s College Ledge London.
“Suddenly in early January you will wake up in a new world.”
Here are some changes in the movement that will make people feel almost overnight.
What is changing?
Nevertheless, the coronavirus epidemic has led to a decline in the number of people traveling between Britain and the EU, Jan. The end of freedom of movement from the 1st will represent the most tangible Brexit result ever.
Under a divorce deal agreed by both parties on 24 December, about 1 million British citizens who are legal residents in the EU now have equal rights. The same applies to the more than 3 million EU citizens living in the UK
But British citizens will no longer have the automatic right to live and work in the EU, and vice versa. Those who want to cross the border to settle will have to comply with immigration rules and face other red tape, such as ensuring their eligibility is valid.
The exceptions are people traveling between the UK and Ireland, which have a separate general travel area.
For many in the European Union, one of the most compelling aspects of European integration is the freedom to travel, study and live life anywhere in the 27-nation group.
However, after some former communist countries in Eastern Europe joined the EU in 2004, some in Britain and other parts of Western Europe became more skeptical of freedom of movement and many of their citizens went to work in the UK and other rich countries. Concerns about immigration were a major factor in Britain’s 2016 Brexit vote. On 1 January, the consequences of that decision will be equally clear to British and European citizens.
What are the new travel rules?
Although travel visas for the holidays will remain free, British citizens will be allowed to spend 90 days out of every 180 in the European Union, while the UK will allow European citizens to stay for six consecutive months.
For retired British citizens who used to spend more than three months in their second homes on Spain’s sun-drenched Costa del Sol, the change will come as a shock. British travelers to Europe will also have to have at least six months left on their passport and buy their own travel insurance. Britain will no longer be issued a European Health Insurance Card, which guarantees access to medical care in the blockchain, but the UK says it is setting up a replacement system so that UK visitors to the UK and EU citizens still have medical coverage.
What about animals?
For British citizens accustomed to taking their dogs, cats or ferrets on vacation every summer in Europe, the situation will become more complicated as Britain will no longer be part of the EU’s pet passport scheme – although the agreement avoids months-long proceedings that were somewhat feared. UK pet owners must vaccinate their animal against microchip and rabies at least 21 days before the trip, and will need to get an animal health certificate from a veterinarian 10 days before departure.
Will driving be a hassle?
The deal means British drivers will no longer need an international driving permit once they cross the channel. British motorists can travel to the EU on their UK license and insurance, as long as they keep proof of being insured in the form of a “green card”.
The end of freedom of movement will have a major impact on hiring at all ends of the labor market.
Newly graduated British citizens on holiday on the Greek islands, for example, will not be able to go to the beach and find a part-time job without the required visa. The same applies to European citizens coming to the UK as they will not be able to go to a sandwich shop like Pratt the Manger and find work without the necessary documents.
Even large businesses will find it more difficult and expensive to hire people on the other side. The deal includes provisions to allow contractors and business travelers to make short-term work trips without a visa.
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