What changes after Brexit despite UK deal? 15 ways you’ll be hit from January 1

The UK and EU have finally reached a Brexit trade deal with barely a week to spare.

The two sides agreed a pact just before Christmas after missing repeated deadlines in October and November.

It means we will no longer slap huge World Trade Organisation tariffs on up to £660bn a year of UK trade.

And firms will be relieved to know a long list EU rules and standards won’t crash to an end on New Year’s Eve.

But in case you hadn’t noticed, Brexit already happened on January 31 – and that means some things were always going to change.

The transition period ends at 11pm on Thursday 31 December, bringing a permanent end to many EU rules and rights for UK citizens.

Here are 15 things that will change for you, your friends and family and your holidays from Friday.

1. You no longer have the right to live and work in the EU

We may have a Brexit deal, but a lot of things will still change forever from next Friday

From January 1, EU citizens will be barred from moving to the UK unless they have a job offer, earn at least £20,480 (often more), speak good English and have certain skills.

In return, UK citizens must get permission to live or work in EU nations – and will need a visa for most trips over 90 days.

EU nationals already living in the UK must register for “settled status” by 30 June 2021. To get settled status, you must have been living in the UK for at least five years continuously, without a break of more than six months.

If you have not been in the UK for this long, you can get ‘pre-settled status’. You will then have to make a second application when you reach the five-year mark to upgrade it to settled status.

There is no fee to apply after the government agreed to demands to scrap it.

If you’re a UK national in the EU, you may need to apply for residency status in the country you’re living in before June 2021.

You may also need to buy health insurance or register for healthcare for the country you are living in.

And you may need to exchange your drivers’ licence for a local one – among other things.

Search your country here to see more precise rules.

2. UK citizens may be blocked from EU travel due to coronavirus

There’s no permanent ban on holidays, but the rules may tighten up during coronavirus

The big promise of Vote Leave was to end free movement – now it’s happening

While there’s no permanent ban on Brits travelling to the EU, the combination of coronavirus and Brexit will lead to more restrictions in the short term.

The EU has two regimes for travel during Covid-19 – one for its member countries and another for non-EU countries.

While some EU travel is allowed if your country is already in the EU, only a handful of countries are allowed to make “non-essential” travel from outside the EU, into it. As of mid-December, only eight countries were on that list.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab admitted travel could be disrupted across Europe.

“Covid restrictions will depend on the combination of what the EU decides, but also member states,” he told the BBC.

The impact is unclear because, with the new variant of Covid-19, there are already restrictions on travel from the UK to EU.

3. You must renew your passport six months early – and pay to visit the EU from 2022

You’ll need to renew your passport early and when you do, it’ll be blue

You do not automatically need a new passport – your old one remains valid even if it says ‘European Union’ on the cover.

But you must renew your passport if it has less than six months before expiry on the day you travel.

Your passport must also be no more than 10 years old, even if it has six months left before expiry.

At the moment, British citizens can enter ‘Schengen area’ countries with a valid passport even if they only have a day left.

As a tourist, you will still be able to travel to most EU countries – plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – without a visa.

And you’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

But from 2022, UK nationals will have to pay for a visa-waiver scheme in order to visit many European countries.

You’ll also no longer be able to use EU fast-track passport control and customs lanes.

4. You could face huge disruption on roads and at ports

The government has prepared a network of lorry parks, some of which are still being built

A trade deal means many of the most disruptive consequences of Brexit – like price hikes on veg – will no longer happen.

But the UK is still leaving the EU’s single market and customs union on January 1, bringing a big pile of new paperwork (below).

The government is braced for disruption on roads and at ports – especially in Kent – as lorry drivers go through new checks.

Ten lorry parks are being opened, some from January 1, to carry out checks away from the border.

Trucks may be deliberately queued on the M20, which leads to the Kent ports, using a moveable barrier called Operation Brock.

Disruption may not just be limited to freight ports. Eurostar is asking passengers to arrive “a little earlier than usual” and “at least one hour before departure” due to new checks.

5. If you run a business, there’s a lot of new paperwork

It’s going to get trickier for importers and exporters

Even though there’s a trade deal, business owners will need to make customs declarations when they import or export goods to and from the EU.

If you run a business, you will need an EORI number to do this. If you don’t get one by December 31 your goods may be delayed.

Importers will also need to check what new licences and certificates they may now need.

And firms will need to check the rules for importing alcohol, tobacco and certain oils.

Most businesses get an agent or similar to deal with customs for them, although this comes with extra costs for your business.

6. And if you’re a firm trading with Belfast, you face new rules

Shipping containers at Greenock in Scotland

The UK and EU have agreed checks will not take place at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland will continue to follow many of the EU’s rules, meaning that lorries can continue to drive across the island of Ireland without having to be inspected.

But in return, there will be a new “regulatory” border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). That’s because, unlike Northern Ireland, Great Britain won’t have to follow EU rules in future.

This means some checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be needed.

Those checks will take place at the ports in Northern Ireland – and customs duties will have to be paid on some goods which are deemed “at risk” of travelling into the EU at a later date.

7. You must do more before taking a pet on holiday – even guide dogs

Guide dogs will need extra approvals before coming into the EU

EU ‘pet passports’ for dogs, cats and ferrets will no longer be valid from 1 January 2021, prompting a surge in red tape.

Instead, you’ll have to visit a vet 10 days to a month before each trip you take with your pet – and that includes guide dogs.

The animal will need to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel.

Ten days or less before travel, a vet then needs to issue an EU Model Health Certificate to allow the pet into the EU.

Pet owners will have to report with their animal to a Travellers’ Point of Entry once they arrive in Europe.

This is less onerous than originally feared. At first it was thought UK pet owners would have to visit the vet four months before a trip.

The change is because the UK has become a ‘Part 2 listed’, rather than an ‘unlisted’ country, for pet travel.

8. You may be hit by mobile phone roaming charges on holiday

Mobile roaming charges can return. It doesn’t mean they will, but they can

Roaming charges will be allowed to return, whether there’s a Brexit deal or not.

Mobile phone users currently get free data roaming across the whole of the EU, thanks to relatively recent EU rules.

But after January 1, Brits will no longer get this privilege and phone firms will be free to hit you with roaming charges abroad.

You must check with your phone provider to see if you will be affected.

If you are hit with roaming charges, you can rack up a bill of £45 before you are prompted and asked if you want to spend more.

A government summary says the deal “contains measures to encourage cooperation on the promotion of fair and transparent rates for international mobile roaming”. But that stops short of charges being banned.

9. You need a special permit to drive your car in the EU

Going on a cross-Channel ferry will have an important extra step

Currently a UK driving licence is the only thing visitors need to get behind the wheel on the continent.

But from January 1 many countries will require you to get an International Driving Permit, which costs £5.50 at the Post Office.

Click here to see if you need an IDP in the country you will be visiting.

Meanwhile, you will also be forced to apply for a ‘green card’ to prove you have the right car insurance.

The certificates are free of charge and available from insurance companies, though firms may increase admin fees to deal with red tape.

Those who forget their green cards would be forced to buy expensive “frontier” insurance in the country they are visiting.

10. You might be blocked from your favourite streaming sites on holiday

Subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime will no longer be forced by law to let you watch your account in full in the EU.

While the exact policy is up to individual companies, in theory you could lose access to some content if you’re watching overseas.

It is because the UK will no longer be bound by the EU’s “portability regulation” from January 1.

11. Package holiday bookers will get less legal protection

Package holiday protections will change

Package holidaymakers could be left with no legal protection if the firm they booked with goes bust.

Currently Brits have “insolvency protection” if they book with a package holiday provider that’s based anywhere in the EU.

But after January 1, that protection will only apply if the firms are established in the UK or ”actively targeting” the UK market.

If you’re unsure, check the firm’s terms and conditions before you book to make sure you’ll be protected.

12. You might not be able to take a ham sandwich with you on holiday

The government’s website warns: “You will not be able to take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries from 1 January 2021.”

There are some exceptions, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food for medical reasons.

But the full rules on the European Commission’s website make clear the meat and milk ban includes “personal goods”.

13. Erasmus is being scrapped

The UK has quit the Erasmus student exchange programme after Brexit, complaining it is too “expensive”.

The scheme allows UK university students to study abroad in one of 32 participating nations. Some can get a “large contribution” to their tuition fees back in the UK as well as a grant of up to €350 a month.

But Boris Johnson complained the programme, which the UK joined in 1987, was “extremely expensive”.

He announced the UK will launch a replacement programme named after Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing. The Prime Minister boasted the new ‘Turing Scheme’ will allow students to study at universities across the world, not just Europe.

But he gave no details of how it will work, including what it will cost or when it will start.

Universities UK slammed the “disappointing” decision and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said it was one of his only two regrets.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon branded it an act of “cultural vandalism”.

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14. You need to get full travel insurance

Brits have been warned they must still get full travel insurance for trips to the EU from January 1 – despite the deal.

The 1,246-page agreement says Brits can continue to get emergency healthcare while on holiday, like they can under the European Health Insurance Card.

People’s current EHICs will continue to be valid until they expire. They will then be replaced with a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

The UK is in talks about further co-operation with non-EU states Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

But despite this, Brits are being warned they must get comprehensive cover anyway if they are planning a trip to the continent.

Officials say that is because EHICs only ever covered certain types of healthcare – in other words, emergency or necessary care.

The Brexit deal doesn’t cover Brits who travel to an EU country “with the purpose of receiving” healthcare – except for a limited number of exemptions.

15. You have to spend longer at the Post Office

People sending packages from the UK to any EU country must now attach a customs declaration, otherwise it will not be sent.

The change applies to anyone sending any kind of parcel to the EU. That means people sending personal gifts to their friends and relatives, not just businesses.

However, it does not apply to letters, postcards and documents.

The change is due to the UK leaving the EU’s single market and customs union, which Boris Johnson refused to stay part of.

But at least you’ll be able to do duty-free shopping!

Duty-free will return

Duty-free shopping will return after January 1 for Brits who are going to the continent.

This means people can buy duty-free goods in British ports, airports and international rail stations before leaving for the EU.

It also means people can bring in goods they’ve bought duty-free in EU airports back to the UK.

However, there will be a limit on how much booze or tobacco Brits can bring home from the EU.

A ‘booze cruise’ will be able to bring 42 litres of beer, and 18 litres of still wine, and 4 litres of spirits or 9 litres of sparkling or fortified wine.

You can also bring back either 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g tobacco – or a combination of the above.