The Brexit consequences in everyday life

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The Brexit consequences in everyday life, Some Basic Questions Answered. From Travel, roaming, whisky, Insurance and Residence etc.

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In less than two weeks, Great Britain is to leave the EU. What German holidaymakers have to be prepared for and what will change for British people living in the EU.

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to pull through the Brexit on 31 October, if necessary, without a deal. Negotiations with the EU on a withdrawal agreement are still ongoing – outcome uncertain. According to official documents, the British government expects “public unrest” and bottlenecks in the supply of food and medicines in the event of an unregulated Brexit.

What changes are people on both sides of the Channel directly feeling? When do EU citizens need a residence permit in the UK? Will whiskey still be delivered?

Can tourists enter without any problems after Brexit?

A city trip to London or a hiking holiday in the Scottish Highlands would also be possible after a Brexit. If Europe and UK agree on a withdrawal agreement, European freedom of movement will continue to apply until the end of 2020. 

If, on the other hand, Great Britain withdraws from the EU without a treaty, delays in entry are possible. This is the forecast for an unregulated Brexit by the British government. At airports, when travelling with ferries across the English Channel and when using the Eurotunnel, travellers would have to be prepared for waiting times.

With a hard Brexit, Great Britain also leaves the European Common Aviation Area. But the EU wants to allow flights from the UK to the EU at least until March 2020. The prerequisite is that the British government also permits reverse air traffic – this is also the case with many other countries. Passenger rights would also remain in place: If flights are cancelled or delayed, passengers would still be entitled to compensation.

Do a driver’s license and health insurance apply?

If there is a Brexit with a contract, Germans in Great Britain are still covered by their statutory insurance. In case of a chaotic withdrawal from Europe, however, the German health insurance loses its validity. The German Embassy in London, therefore, recommends taking out travel health insurance. 

Travellers in Great Britain can continue to use their German driving licence in any case – regardless of whether they leave the EU in an orderly or disorderly manner.

Are roaming charges coming back after Brexit?

In the event of an EU withdrawal, whether regulated or unregulated, British mobile operators would no longer be subject to the European roaming rules, so the EU cost caps would no longer apply. For Germans, for example, who want to call home from their London holiday or find their way with mobile data, it will be expensive. The same applies to Britons with British mobile phone contracts who are in Germany. However, there are countries such as Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein that are not members of the EU but participate in the EU Roaming Regulation. It is unclear whether the UK intends to do this.

When do Germans need a residence permit in Great Britain after Brexit?

Foreigners who already lived in Great Britain before the Brexit may remain in the country afterwards. This applies regardless of whether the resignation is regulated or not. Whether they are gainfully employed and have their own income is also irrelevant. However, EU citizens must apply for a residence permit by the end of 2020 at the latest. The German Embassy in London assumes that applications will generally be granted as long as the applicants have not committed any serious crimes in Great Britain. If there is an orderly withdrawal, Germans in Great Britain have one year longer to apply for a residence permit.

According to the British government, 1.5 million people have already received a residence permit for the period after the Brexit since the end of September. 1.7 million foreigners have applied.

And what about the British?

British citizens do not have to leave Germany immediately if they leave the country. According to the Federal Government, it is planning a transitional period of initially three months. British citizens living in Germany will then also have to apply for a residence permit.

The British health insurance NHS will also remain valid in Germany until the end of 2020 if they leave the country with an agreement. In the case of an unregulated Brexit, however, Britons would suddenly no longer be covered by health insurance in Germany. The German authorities, therefore, recommend that British citizens take out travel health insurance.

British citizens do not have to worry about the recognition of their professional qualifications in any case. They remain valid even after Brexit.

Brexit, Do students need a residence permit?

Students who are already studying in Great Britain should be able to continue to do so. However, students must take care of their residence status by the end of 2020. It is unclear whether Great Britain will remain a member of the European Erasmus exchange programme. German students can continue their studies abroad in Great Britain.

British students can also continue their studies in Germany after Brexit. After a planned transition period of initially three months, however, they also need a residence permit in Germany. The Federal Government recommends that they contact the Foreigners Authority in good time.

Is whisky getting more expensive now after Brexit?

The withdrawal correspondence negotiated with the EU by former British Prime Minister Theresa May provides for a transitional period for trade relations until 2021. Meanwhile, everything on both sides should remain as it is. The EU and Britain could continue to trade whisky from Scotland or lettuce from Spain as usual. In the long term, a new free trade agreement is to regulate the movement of goods between Great Britain and the EU.

Current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on the other hand, wants Britain to leave the customs union with the EU immediately. Then trade would have to be conducted according to the rules of the World Trade Organization, just as in the case of an unregulated withdrawal agreement. This would mean that the EU’s external tariffs on third countries would also apply to Great Britain with immediate effect. At the same time, customs and border controls would be due, especially in the ports of Dover and Calais and on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, British exports to Germany would be subject to an average of five per cent customs duty. Taxes such as import turnover tax and excise duty may also be payable. The prices of goods such as whisky would therefore very probably rise. For consumers in the EU, it could be worthwhile in future to prefer the then duty-free Irish varieties to the Scottish ones.

Should the British be shopping now as a precaution?

The British government is indeed expecting supply bottlenecks with a hard Brexit. According to forecasts, the border controls could lead to days of waiting time for trucks. Bottlenecks in the supply of medicines would be a possible consequence and food such as fresh vegetables could become scarce. Hamster buying, however, could exacerbate the problem, warns the British government. If citizens already buy certain products in stock, price increases are also to be expected.

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