Less freedom of movement for travelers, workers, students and goods. This is the summary of what the Brexit means for the life of the citizens of the European Union and the United Kingdom from 2021 onwards. And at least until new agreements appear between the actors involved, this is the starting point for the new relationship between the continent and the islands. Like that of two areas that no longer share a common status. Europeans and British are no longer fellow citizens.

Nevertheless, the separation has been friendly. After officially leaving the European Union on January 31st 2020, the United Kingdom managed to avoid the 'hard' Brexit that it seemed to be heading for for months. Thanks to the agreement in extremis reached at the end of December 2020, the divorce will not be a traumatic one. And not only that, but in issues such as climate cooperation, fisheries, security and transport coordination will continue to be very important.

And yet, the facilities that, for decades, any citizen of the European Union enjoyed to cross from Britain to the continent and vice versa - whether for work, study, tourism or business operations - have vanished. The new world in which the UK is not part of the EU brings with it new constraints. Limitations that we will try to summarise in four points.

Check: Brexit: Residence for UK and Northern Ireland citizens in Spain

1— Limited stays for travelers

The journey from Madrid to London as if you were going to Albacete is over. Now, for any European, the English Channel has become a border again. One of those of before. And that, of course, affects the ability to travel freely.

The tourist will be the first to be affected by this new post-Brexit world. Previously unlimited, stays for any Briton travelling to European Union territory, as well as for a European travelling to Britain, now have an expiry date. In the case of the British, they can now only stay in EU territory for a total maximum of 90 days in a period of 180 consecutive days.

Beyond this time limit, British nationals must have passports that are at least six months valid and no more than 10 years old. On the other hand, they could be forced to declare before European authorities questions like the reason for their visit and the return ticket from the EU, like when a European goes to the US.

[IMAGE] Traveler waiting. © Erik Odiin. Unsplash

And finally, it is very likely that in the near future the British will have to use and pay for ETIAS (the EU's electronic registration system for visa-free travellers).

For their part, European citizens can now stay for up to six months in the UK.

However, there is good news: both Europeans and British will continue to have emergency medical assistance during tourist trips between both spaces.

In the meantime, in case of travel for medical treatment, the tourist permit could be extended. The same applies to academic workers, as long as they meet certain requirements. In such cases, the stay can be extended up to 11 and 12 months respectively.

Finally, pet passports will no longer be valid in the UK.

2— More labor barriers

Let no one be alarmed. First and foremost, any EU citizen residing in the UK is safe for now. Provided they have made their residence in the islands official, their status will not change until 2025.

However, things do change for any other European who was planning to emigrate to Britain in the years to come. After the completion of the Brexit, this will no longer be as easy as before. European citizens who want to work in England, Wales, or Scotland will have to apply online for a work visa. In addition, among other things, they will be asked for a job offer, a sufficient level of English and a salary in that job of at least 25,600 pounds per year (about 28,000 euros).

On the other hand, some professions will no longer be automatically approved as before: among them, architecture, medicine or nursing.

3— No more Erasmus to Britain

To the regret of many university students with the goal set in their Erasmus year, Bristol, London, Edinburgh, Liverpool or Manchester will no longer be among the possible destinations for the exchange course. And what about British students, who are left without exotic destinations all over Europe. Erasmus, in everything related to Great Britain, is over.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced instead another alternative for his country's students, although not enough details have yet been revealed. For now, the British students who will continue in the program will be those from Northern Ireland, thanks to a pact with the government of the Republic of Ireland.

4— Customs returns

In the case of goods and services, we can only say that we are going back in time to when customs were part of the normality among all European countries. However, only the English Channel goes back to the past.

As far as we are concerned, the commercial impact of the Brexit will not be so serious because an agreement was reached that will prevent a considerable increase in the prices of many products traded between Great Britain and the European Union.

However, what has not been avoided in this agreement will be the introduction of customs controls, which will hinder the easy flow of past decades. This could lead to delays and disruptions in supply chains. And, therefore, a price increase that was originally intended to be avoided. Such controls will be exempted in Northern Ireland, which will remain effectively within the European single market.

Finally, British service providers will have to adapt to the rules of each Member State or relocate to the EU if they wish to continue to operate as they do today. For example, this will have consequences such as a possible change in roaming charges for cell phones.

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