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Brexit deal: Will this affect my travels to the EU?

As negotiations progress, a common question asked is based on travelling to the EU with a UK passport and no Brexit deal, and here’s everything you need to know.

What we know as of now:

The UK and the EU are continuously working hard to see a suitable and definite deal as discussions develop. Regardless, it is important that you are able to prepare for all possibilities until an outcome has been attained. However, it is important to know that:

  • For 2 years, the government has been executing a programme of work to make sure the UK will be prepared from the start in all aspects. As well as a possible ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

Travelling to the EU with a UK passport before March 2019: 

With the UK being an exception, majority of the EU countries are a part of the Schengen Agreement.

  • This eliminates passport checks and border control amongst countries within Schengen area, allowing you to travel around the area as if it is one country.

Currently, if you are a British citizen, as a EU national, you are able to enter Schengen area so long as you have a valid passport.

Unsure of whether or not your country qualifies as a member of the Schengen Agreement?

Check the list below:

Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

What happens after March 2019 if there is no deal?

If you’re a British passport holder you will be treated as a third country national under the Schengen Border Code and so as a result will need to act in accordance with different rules to enter/travel around the Schengen area.

A third country national is a native of a country that does not belong to the EU or the European Economic Area.  This means:

  • Third country passports must have been published in the last 10 years
  • Third country passports must have at least 3 months validity outstanding on the date of planned departure.

If your passport does not comply with these rules, you may be refused entry to any of the Schengen area countries, and it is recommended that you renew your passport before hand, which can easily be done online.


As you may already be aware, there have been changes with UK passports from September 2018:

  • Extra validity is no longer added to passports like done previously
  • The maximum validity for new adult UK passport will be 10 years
  • The maximum validity for a new child UK passport will be 5 years.

Passports issued after 29th March 2019:

After Britain leaves the EU, the design of the British passport will change:

  • Passports printed before 30th March 2019 up until the introduction of the new passport design will still be burgundy but wont have ‘European Union’ on the front cover.
  • Blue passports will be introduced late 2019.

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