What Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal announcement means for UK passports

Boris Johnson's oven-ready Brexit trade agreement with the EU has been served up just in time for Christmas and just days before the transition period was set to come to an end.

The EU and Downing Street had been poised to announce a deal on Wednesday night but that slipped as last-minute wrangling continued – and negotiations continued through the night, fuelled by a late delivery of pizzas.

The Prime Minister defiantly announced his "deal is done" on Christmas Eve and it will mean the country avoids crashing out with no deal in place.

Boris Johnson also apologised during his televised press conference following the announcement – for interrupting Cars 3 which was being shown on BBC One on Christmas Eve.

The film, which was being broadcast on BBC One, was actually shown all the way through before they cut to the PM's speech.

But now the Brexit deal is over the line, many Brits will be left wondering exactly what it means for them with the country's decision to leave set to impact people in many ways.

There will be changes to travelling abroad, but what exactly will they be? And how will our passports be affected? Here, The Daily Star takes a look.

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Do I need a new passport after Brexit?

Brits travelling to EU member states will need at least six months remaining on their passports following a rule change that is set to come into force from January 1.

As long as you have at least six months remaining on yours, and as long as it is less than 10 years old, you will be able to use it to travel to EU countries – as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland – after December 31 2020.

If you do renew your passport you'll also notice that it will have changed in one significant way – with the cover set to return to being blue.

Blue was first used for the cover of the British passport in 1921, but the design changed in 1988 after the UK joined the European Economic Community and burgundy was chosen as the common colour.

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Will I need a visa to visit Europe after Brexit?

If you're planning to go to Europe after December 2020 you can still go without a visa if you're off on holiday.

This will be the case for anyone visiting EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

You will be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period, but this will apply to all trips you make within that time.

If you travel to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus or Romania then the number of days you spend in these countries will not count towards that total.

If you’re planning to stay for longer, to work or study in an EU country, or if your visit is for business purposes, you may need to apply for a work permit or visa.

You should check the individual travel page of the country you plan to visit on rhe Foreign Office website to see what documentation you will need.

There will also be different rules at border control in any European country.

You’ll need to:

  • Show a return or onward ticket
  • Show you have enough money for your stay – this could depend on where you’re going and how long you’re going for
  • Use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
  • If you’re hiring a car in Europe from 1 January 2021 you might need an additional international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries and if you’re driving your own car you might also need an insurance ‘green card’ and a GB sticker

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