What is the visa procedure in London

Do Germans need a visa now? Questions and answers about Brexit

Great Britain leaves the European Union: On January 31, 2020 there will be Brexit. You can find out what this will mean for travelers in the future and what will change here.

You can find more news about Brexit here

The most important questions and answers about Brexit at a glance:

  • The transition phase after Brexit will last until December 31, 2020 - until then, almost nothing will change.
  • Visa - yes or no? No! Germans still do not need a visa if they want to travel to the United Kingdom for a short time.
  • Do I have to pay roaming charges again in the UK? No. After the end of the transition period, however, extra charges for telephoning could arise again

Brexit after 47 years of membership

After 47 years of membership, Great Britain will leave the European Union on January 31, 2020. The EU leaders have signed the exit agreement with the British.

The most important point of the agreement is a transition period until the end of 2020, during which almost nothing will change. The treaty also regulates three things in particular: the rights of EU citizens in Great Britain and the British in the EU, London's financial obligations after its exit and the avoidance of a hard border between British Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

The Irish question in particular had been wrestled for years. The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson achieved a change in the EU in the autumn, for which he finally found a majority after winning the general election in December.

In the penultimate week of January, the British Parliament finally passed the Brexit Act, which is necessary in Great Britain, and the British Queen Elizabeth II also gave her approval.

Do Germans need a UK visa after Brexit?

No, it is still possible for Germans to travel to Great Britain without a visa - even after Brexit, as the British government announced.

The transition period after leaving the EU runs until December 31, 2020, as the Federal Ministry of the Interior explains. During this phase, you can still travel with an identity card and a biometric passport.

In 2021, only passports and no ID cards will be accepted. The British government wants to announce when exactly that will be. After that, tourists only need a passport.

Roaming: Can cell phones continue to be used at domestic rates after Brexit ("roam-like-at-home")?

It is currently possible to use the same tariffs on your mobile phone in all EU member states that you have in your home country. If Great Britain had left the EU unregulated, this price cap would no longer have applied, then the rules for international roaming would have applied.

However, since there is now an agreement, it should still be possible to continue to use data, calls and text messages without having to pay roaming fees.

Will EU citizens need a special driver's license in England in the future?

An international driver's license will not be necessary even after Great Britain leaves, the German driver's license will continue to be recognized. It does not matter whether you are traveling with your own car or with a rental car.

Anyone who takes their vehicle to the United Kingdom must have a registration certificate (Part I) with them after Brexit - but this is currently already the case, as the German government has announced. From the day of departure, drivers also need the Green International Insurance Card.

Can animals still travel to the UK?

After Brexit, Great Britain is a so-called third country. This changes the regulations for traveling with animals fundamentally, as the British government announces and can only be regulated after the exit. The government recommends finding out about the current conditions at least four months before you plan to travel with an animal.

Does international health insurance make sense after Brexit?

Travelers from the EU are currently insured by their respective health insurances in all member states of the European Union and are entitled to medical services. If Great Britain leaves the EU, this right will also expire - but only after the transition period until the end of 2020.

The ADAC therefore advises you to ask your health insurance company whether these costs that arise due to illness are covered in a third country and whether you should take out health insurance abroad. Great Britain is considered a third country after leaving.

What if I need to see a doctor while on vacation in London?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will remain valid during the transition period. This means that people with statutory health insurance in Germany can continue to see a doctor in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Nothing will change here for private patients either.

What is happening on the Northern Ireland-Ireland border?

There will be no changes during the transition period. However, the EU and the United Kingdom have agreed not to want a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on the common island even after that.

Northern Ireland will enter into a customs union with the United Kingdom after the transition period, but the rules of the EU internal market will predominantly apply at the border with Ireland, so there will be no customs controls there, for example.

What about EU citizens living in the UK or Northern Ireland?

Around three million EU citizens live in the UK, some of them for many years. They moved there with or without their families to work or study.

After the 2016 Brexit vote, many asked themselves whether they would have to leave the country or go through an admission procedure if the principle of free movement, which applies to EU citizens in the EU, no longer applies. But now it is clear: You and your families can stay, even after December 31, 2020. The same applies to the approximately one million British citizens who have settled in EU countries.

Can the British government from now on - to put it bluntly - do what it wants?

No longer having to adhere to all EU rules has been an urgent wish of the Brexit advocates. However, these rules will still apply to the UK during the transition period. The European Court of Justice also remains the highest legal authority for the country for the time being. Its judgments will be binding on the UK and Northern Ireland until December 31, 2020.

Are the British still allowed to have a say in the EU?

No, they are no longer allowed to do that from February 1st. All MPs and other employees in EU institutions will then vacate their seats. This also applies to the 73 British Members of the European Parliament, for example Nigel Farage. Your seats will be allocated to other EU countries.

What else is changing for the UK government?

It can now begin negotiations on trade and other agreements with other third countries, i.e. non-EU nations. However, these may only come into force after December 31, 2020 - unless the EU agrees to an earlier start.

What will change for the British?

As for the other EU citizens, not much at first. But: Newly issued British passports are now (as before) blue instead of burgundy - and there is a new 50-pence coin with the imprint "Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations" ".

How are things going now?

First of all, the EU Commission has to decide on a negotiating line for further talks with the United Kingdom in February. These talks, particularly on a free trade agreement, could begin in March. If the transition period is not extended, it must be completed within ten months so that there is still time for ratifications. What has often been the case with Brexit applies: time is short.

Sources used:

  • British Government: Visiting the UK after Brexit
  • British Government: Pet travel to Europe after Brexit
  • Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy: Brexit: Questions and answers on the no-deal scenario
  • Federal Ministry of the Interior: Questions and answers on the effects on citizens' status rights in connection with Brexit
  • bundesregierung.de: Prepared for any eventuality: Preparations by the federal government for Brexit
  • Federal Ministry of Health: Insurance coverage abroad
  • GEO: Travel after Brexit: An overview of the most important questions and answers
  • ADAC: Brexit: What travelers should know
  • European Commission website: Questions and Answers on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union on January 31st
  • Website of the European Consumer Center Germany: Brexit and its consequences for consumers
  • Federal government website: Brexit negotiations - where are we? What's next?
  • BBC website: What will change after Friday, January 31?
  • Spiegel online: EU Parliament ratifies Brexit treaty: a bit of goose bumps as you leave
  • tagesschau.de: Negotiations after leaving the EU: What will happen after Brexit?
  • dpa