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Brexit: British Passports in the EU

British passport holders do need to be aware of the new status and scope of their existing EU passports after the Brexit deadline. Although details and transport arrangements may change depending on the final deal, there are broad guidelines which will be solidified in due course. Depending on the outcome of leaving the EU with or without a deal, which will come to light on 31st October 2019 (the deadline of the Article 50 extension), it is difficult to comment on the travel rights of citizens. The government has stated that in order to travel within the EU, an adult or child passport should have at least 6 months left on it (this doesn't include Ireland).

The UK Government website states that if you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. However, 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 the following:

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

Will passports change after Brexit?

Passports 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 issued after 31st October 2019 will retain the same overall design but with all references to the European Union removed. UK passports issued before the UK leaves the EU will retain the current burgundy design.

Passports issued prior to Brexit will still be valid for travel throughout the world, provided they are not damaged or expired. 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 cost of a passport won't be affected after Brexit.

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 eventually pulls out of the EU and the British passport will no longer be an EU passport.

Britons who wish to keep EU citizenship 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 can I live with a British passport after Brexit?' then please check the UK Government website to see what will change for UK nationals living in the EU.

Will a UK passport be valid after Brexit?

Yes. However, it is recommended that anyone with not enough validity left on their passport should begin the renewal process now.

Will I need a Visa for travelling to the EU after Brexit?

If the UK secures a deal before the end of October 2019, then there will be no changes to how you enter the EU or its Member States until at least the 31st December 2020. Even in the case of a 'no-deal Brexit' you will be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. You will need a visa or permit, once we finally exit the European Union, to stay or work for longer than this period of time. Check out our helpful guide to Brexit and visas to learn more. Also, if you are a UK business traveller and are concerned how Brexit will affect UK business travellers then read our guide for further information on any changes you may need to make.

Holiday Extras Brexit Disruption Cover

We want to ensure that no matter where and when you're travelling, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, you can have enhanced protection. That's where Holiday Extras Brexit Disruption Cover comes in.

Brexit Disruption Cover is available as an add-on to your travel insurance policy. To book, simply complete your initial travel insurance booking and select Brexit Disruption Cover from the list of optional add-ons. Alternatively, if you'd prefer to speak to someone, call our Kent-based call centre on 0800 316 0104, and one of our agents can talk you through the process. For a complete rundown, visit our Brexit Disruption cover page.

All information correct as of October 2019. Sources include the UK Government website and the Eurotunnel website.


If you found this guide to Brexit and passports helpful, then check out a few of our other Brexit guides that could help you weather this political storm with less hassle, more holiday!


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