New year, new UK?

After one EU referendum and four and a half years, the Brexit transition period is over and a new UK-EU agreement has come into force.

But what does this mean for the British public? And what are people going to now miss out on?

1. The right to live and work in European Union

Yep, the freedom of movement is over for UK citizens. This means people who want to settle elsewhere in the EU will have to follow immigration rules and may need to get work visas or face other red tape (with the exception of Ireland). For many, this opportunity will be the most missed and others are concerned about the implications for cross-border families.

2. It won’t be so easy to travel to the EU either

Ok, so the process of moving to another country in the 27-country bloc won’t be as smooth but what about holidays? They are expected to remain visa-free but Brits will be limited to spending 90 days out of every 180 in the EU. British nationals will also no longer be issued with European Health Insurance Cards and coronavirus travel restrictions may be coming into place.

3. The ability to take part in Erasmus

British students will no longer be able to study - or work, volunteer, teach and train - abroad as part of the Erasmus+ programme, which some have cited as a formative life experience (as well as a lot of fun!). The EU scheme also provides grants to support learners and education providers.

4. The right to not be charged loads for mobile roaming

The guarantee of free phone roaming as part of your contract has ended, which means Brits could face the dreaded horror of running up a crazy bill for making calls, sending texts or using internet data while in the EU. Despite this, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have all said they have no plans to reintroduce charges although it is best to check before you travel.

5. Being able to set off on a spontaneous road-trip across the EU

British motorists can drive in the EU using their UK licenses but they will need to obtain and carry a physical copy of a “green card” from their insurer and put a GB sticker on their vehicle. Drivers from some territories, such as Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, as well as those with a paper driving licence may need an international driving permit.

6. The ability to vote and stand as a candidate in European Parliament elections

Wanted to have your voice heard or to go into politics? British citizens have fewer elections to take part in now.

7. The right to free trade within the EU for your business

As the UK left the single market and customs union on December 31, businesses are expected to face new checks, extra paperwork and additional costs when trading with former EU partners.

More: Why Brexit is making the future of fish look so bleak

 

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