12th Mar 2021 | Articles

eu uk

Christopher Loxton writes for the New Law Journal on Brexit & travel: destination unknown? An article in which Christopher Loxton reports on the impact of Brexit on travel arrangements between the UK and EU.


This article sets out what impact the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the TCA) will have, along with Brexit more generally, on travel between the UK and the EU. An article on the TCA’s impact on aviation between the UK and the EU, including flight routes between the two territories, can be found here.

Very little of the TCA itself concerns travel between the UK and EU. The section of the TCA entitled ‘Heading Two: Aviation’ runs to just 25 pages out of a total of 1,246, with most of the section of little interest
to passengers. A short section on visas (Heading Four, Title II: Visas for short-term visits) amounts to just one page. Other parts concern the transportation of passengers by road and the rights of UK/EU travel agents, tour operators and guides to operate and travel in the two respective territories; however, these latter parts are beyond the scope of this article.

Entry requirements
The TCA provides visa-free travel for short-term visits for travel between the UK and EU in accordance with the domestic law of each particular country. The UK and EU are both obligated to notify the other of any intention to impose a visa requirement for short-term visits ‘in good time and, if possible, at least three months before such a requirement takes effect’ (Heading Four, Title II: Visas For Short-Term Visits, Article VSTV.1: Visas for short-term visits).

At the time of writing, UK tourists, business travellers and students can stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period in all EU countries that are in the Schengen area without a visa; however, visits to more than one country in the area within the previous 180 days count towards the 90-day total. Different rules apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania where visits to other EU countries do not count towards the 90-day total.

Travel to, and work in, Ireland is unaffected by the TCA….

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