The UK will formally leave the EU at 11.00 p.m. GMT on 31 January 2020, followed by an eleven month transition period which is due to end on 31st December 2020.
While the UK has agreed the terms of its EU departure, both sides still need to decide what their future relationship will look like. This will be worked out during the transition period.
During this 11-month period, the UK will continue to follow all of the EU’s rules and its trading relationship will remain the same.
What will change after Friday, 31 January?
1. UK MEPs lose their seats
At the moment of Brexit, the UK will leave all of the EU’s political institutions and agencies, however, in addition to the UK following EU rules during the transition period, the European Court of Justice will continue to have the final say over legal disputes.
2. No more EU summits
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have to be specially invited if he wants to join other leaders at EU Council summits in the future.
3. More discussions on trade
The UK will be able to start talking to countries around the world about setting new rules for buying and selling goods and services.
If any trade deals are reached, they won’t be able to start until the transition period ends.
4. The UK’s passports will change colour
Blue passports will be making a return, more than 30 years after they were replaced by the current burgundy design, the new colour will be phased in over a number of months, with all new passports issued in blue by the middle of the year. Existing burgundy passports will continue to be valid.
5. Brexit coins
About three million commemorative 50p Brexit coins bearing the date “31 January” and the inscription: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”, will enter circulation on Friday 31 January.
6. The UK’s Brexit department shuts down
The team that handled the UK-EU negotiations and no-deal preparations will disband on Brexit day.
For the upcoming talks, the UK’s negotiating team will be based in Downing Street.
7. Germany won’t extradite its citizens to the UK
It won’t be possible for some suspected criminals to be brought back to the UK if they flee to Germany.
Germany’s constitution does not allow its citizens to be extradited, unless it’s to another EU country.
The UK Home Office says the European Arrest Warrant will continue to apply during the transition period. (That means Germany will be able to extradite non-German citizens.)
However, it adds that if a country’s laws prevent extradition to the UK it “will be expected to take over the trial or sentence of the person concerned”.
What will stay the same
UK nationals will still be treated the same as EU nationals during the transition and flights, boats and trains will operate as usual.
When it comes to passport control, during the transition period, UK nationals will still be allowed to queue in the areas reserved for EU arrivals only.
2. Driving licences and pet passports
As long as they are valid, these will continue to be accepted.
3. European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
EHICs will still be valid during the transition. These are the cards that provide UK nationals with state-provided medical treatment in case of illness or accident.
They can be used in any EU country (as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and will continue to be valid during the transition period.
4. Living and working in the EU
Freedom of movement will continue to apply during the transition, so UK nationals will still be able to live and work in the EU as they currently do.
The same applies for EU nationals wanting to live and work in the UK.
UK nationals living in the EU will continue to receive their state pension and will also receive the annual increase.
6. Budget contributions
The UK will continue to pay into the EU budget during the transition. This means existing schemes, paid for by EU grants, will continue to be funded.
UK-EU trade will continue without any extra charges or checks being introduced.