UK motorists may need to take EU test in no-deal Brexit

London, United Kingdom | AFP | Thursday 9/13/2018 - 20:47 UTC+5 | 488 words
by James PHEBY

British motorists living in the European Union may have to take a new driving test in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government said in technical advice published Thursday.

British mobile phone customers will also no longer be guaranteed free roaming within EU nations, according to the latest tranche of plans for managing the fallout if Brexit talks collapse.

The government warned motorists that their driving licence may no longer be valid in the EU, and that those living in EU member states “may need to take a new driving test in that country.”

British motorists visiting EU countries, which would include Northern Ireland residents travelling to the Republic of Ireland, will also need an International Driving Permit (IDP).

The government insists that no deal before Britain officially leaves the EU on March 29, 2019 “remains unlikely given the mutual interests” of both parties.

In one of the reports, the government said British mobile phone users will no longer be guaranteed “surcharge-free roaming when you travel to the EU” in case of no-deal, but industry leaders said they hoped to offer the same deals.

“We offered this before the EU regs changed and we’ll be offering it free — deal or no deal,” Three UK wrote on Twitter, while Vodafone UK said it had “no plans” to increase charges.

British passport holders intending to travel to the EU were advised to check the expiry date of their travel document “to avoid any possibility of… not complying” with the rules of the Schengen free travel zone.

“For example, if you’re planning to travel to the Schengen area on 30 March 2019, your passport should have an issue date on or after 1 October 2009,” explained the newly-released documents.

“If your passport does not meet these criteria, you may be denied entry to any of the Schengen area countries.”

Britain will also be excluded from the EU’s Galileo programme, but has vowed to invest in the possible creation of its own satellite-navigation system.

Brussels has said it will deny London access to Galileo’s encrypted signals, citing legal issues about sharing sensitive security information with a non-member state.

Cross-border civil disputes could become more difficult to resolve, with the British government saying it “cannot guarantee that EU courts will accept or recognise any judgments stemming from” cases still ongoing on exit day.

The government foresees extra red tape in industries such as shipping, furniture and textiles and in other sectors selling goods into the European single market in order to ensure they meet relevant requirements.

“These notices make clear firms would be hit with a sledgehammer in the event of ‘no deal’,” said Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the CBI business lobby.

London and Brussels hope to strike a deal by October, to allow its ratification by the European and British parliaments before the UK leaves the bloc.

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