Behind the Headlines

“Brits with less than six months on their passports could be denied entry into EU countries under a no-deal Brexit”

Written on 09/13/2018

What’s the story?

UK passports would no longer be valid in the EU in a no-deal Brexit scenario if they have less than six months remaining before the expiry date, causing an administrative nightmare for the Home Office. Read the full story in the Evening Standard.

How reliable is the story?

Reliable. Once the UK leaves the EU it will, in law, have to be treated as a third country (if there is no-deal scenario, this will be next March) and British travellers would have to ensure their passports do not expire for six months from their date of entry into an EU country.

What’s the background?

  • UK government technical notices released today reveal that British citizens could be stopped from travelling to the European Union after Brexit if they do not fulfil the entry requirements for a third country traveller. Evidence.
  • As EU citizens, British passport-holders can currently travel freely to the rest of Europe as long as their passport is valid to the end of their stay. Evidence.
  • But if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, British citizens would in law have to be treated like any other citizen from third countries. Evidence.
  • This would mean that Brits would need to arrange a visa whenever they want to visit the EU. Evidence.
  • Schengen countries also require that your passport is valid for three months past the visa expiration date, which normally last 90 days. Evidence.  
  • When taken together, this actually means that you would need your passport to be valid for at least six months from the start of the trip. Evidence.
  • There are concerns in government that this new requirement will lead to a big surge in passport renewal applications after March 2019, adding another administrative burden to the Home Office. Evidence.
  • Passport expiry dates are not the only travel concern if Brexit goes ahead, as visas could become a requirement even with a deal in place, depending on the UK government’s new immigration proposals. Evidence.
  • Even with a visa-exemption deal, UK citizens might have to pay a travel authorisation fee of €7 to travel to the EU after March 2019. Evidence.
  • Pet passports, which allow EU citizens to take their pets with them across Europe without quarantine, are also under threat after Brexit. Evidence.

Photo courtesy Christopher Elison 

This Behind the Headlines Briefing was first published on the DoorstepEU app: