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What happened in the UK after Brexit?
The United Kingdom officially left the European Union in January 2020, but a post-Brexit transition period has kept most existing arrangements in place. Once this expires on December 31, EU rules will cease to apply to the UK.
We’ll see the impact on people, focusing on residency, travel and exchanges between the UK and the continent.
End of free movement
Rules that will cease to apply from January 2021 include those on freedom of movement. EU citizens will no longer have the right to move to the UK to work and settle, and vice versa.
The UK will introduce a new immigration policy from January 2021, having passed new legislation. Under the planned points-based system to attract skilled workers, EU nationals will no longer have preferential treatment.
A government policy document in February 2020 said one of the aims was to end "a reliance on cheap labour from Europe".
EU citizens already resident in the UK by the end of 2020 — and Britons living on the continent — have the right to remain and retain existing rights in employment and social security. This comes under the binding terms of the Brexit divorce deal.
However, residence permits will be needed in the future. There have been many complaints about how the new arrangements are working out in practice for EU nationals in the UK, especially given the British government's absence of any physical residency document.
As a general rule, UK nationals will not need visas to stay in EU countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period, as long as they don't work, by the Schengen Borders Code. The British government advises UK travellers to ensure their passports have at least six months' validity and are under 10 years old.
But these are the rules that have always applied to non-EU citizens. More information is available on the UK government website.
EU visitors to the UK will be able to stay for longer: they can visit as a tourist for up to six months without a visa, under immigration rules for foreign visitors exempt from short-stay visas.
They will also not be allowed to work, or to attempt to live in the UK via frequent or successive visits. Passports must be valid for the duration of the stay, and visitors may be asked for details of accommodation arrangements, financial support and return journeys.
A national identity card will be sufficient for entry into the UK until October 2021, whereupon a passport will be needed. EU residents in the UK and some other travellers can enter on a national identity card until the end of 2025.
EU Erasmus programme
The UK will be pulling out of the popular European student programme Erasmus at the end of this year.
The scheme helps young people from both the UK and the EU to study abroad.
Without an agreement on future relations, there is an increased risk that the EU and UK may not recognise each other's professional qualifications.
EU guidance states that the qualifications of UK nationals in the EU will be determined by national policies of member states, irrespective of where they were obtained.
The British government says EU nationals may have to get their qualifications recognised by an appropriate UK regulator. But it says those which are of an equivalent standard to domestic qualifications will be acceptable.
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I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.