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Brexit: How this will affect British Passports in the EU

If you're a British passport holder then you need to be aware of the new status and scope of existing EU passports after the Brexit deadline. Along with securing the right travel insurance for your trip you'll need to know the new guidelines for your passport, either if you're a UK business traveller or a holiday maker travelling around the globe! At Holiday Extras we'd like to lay these changes out as simply as possible for you!

Following both the UK and the EU signing the Withdrawal Agreement on 31st January 2020, we are now in a transition period lasting until at least 31st December 2020. During 2020 everything will remain the same and you can continue to travel without any changes. Valid passports can still be used and you do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU. Your passport does however need to be valid for the whole of your trip!

Brexit and Passports

The UK Government website states that after 1st January 2021, you'll need to have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed. If you do not have enough time left on your passport then you'll need to renew it before travelling to most European countries.

These countries include those listed below:

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • ItalyLatvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City

Will passports change after Brexit?

Yes, your passport will change in use and in appearance. The UK can't return to the hardback style of passport due to international standards, but they will be blue. Passports may retain the same overall design but all references to the European Union will be removed. If your UK passport was issued before the UK leaves the EU then it will retain the current burgundy design.

Also, don't worry, passports issued prior to Brexit will still be valid for travel throughout the world, provided they are not damaged or expired. Just to let you know, beyond design, the new blue passports will have additional security features including a stronger, polycarbonate photo page - replacing the current paper photo page. The aim is to prevent damage and to make doctoring the document more difficult.

A British passport, either new or old, gives you the right to live in the UK and that won't change. The good news is the cost of a passport won't be affected by Brexit either!

Is a British passport the same as an EU passport?

EU passports are granted only to EU citizens. British citizens will most likely lose their EU citizenship after Britain's transition period with the EU and the British passport will no longer be an EU passport.

If you wish to keep EU citizenship then you would need to apply for citizenship of one of the remaining EU countries. It may depend on your marital or family ancestry connection, with Ireland and France being the most popular choices for dual nationality!

If you are a British citizen living in Europe, or are wondering where you can live with a British passport after Brexit, then please check the UK Government website to see what may change for UK nationals living in the EU.

Will a UK passport be valid after Brexit?

Yes. However, it is recommended that from 1st January 2021 anyone with not enough validity left on their passport should begin the renewal process.

All information correct as of February 2020. Sources include the UK Government website, the ABTA website and the Eurotunnel website.

More Information on Brexit

If you found this guide to Brexit and Passports helpful, then visit our other Brexit articles to help you weather this political storm with less hassle, more holiday!

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