‘Visit Europe from 1 January 2021’ is the title of the UK government website which ironically tells you how much more difficult visiting ‘Europe’ will be from next year.
Yes, we’re getting our country back (really?) but instead, we’re losing our continent, or at least, easy access to it.
Among some of the key points for travel throughout the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein from 1 January 2021:
▪ You may be refused entry if your passport only has 6 months left
▪ The guarantee of free mobile phone roaming ends
▪ Your EHIC health card is only valid until 31 December 2020
▪ Use separate lanes from EU/EEA arrivals when queuing
▪ Visa requirements for long stays, business travel, work or study
▪ Your pet passport will no longer be valid
▪ Extra documents to drive
▪ Customs declarations for business goods
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. More restrictions are likely, especially – as anticipated – we don’t get a deal this year covering our new relationship with the EU.
Brexit means ending free movement between us and our continent.
▪ Oh, how the people of the former Communist countries would have cherished ‘free movement’ instead of being trapped behind their Iron Curtain.
▪ Oh, how Winston Churchill would have been amazed – shocked – that the people of Britain would volunteer to end easy access to the European mainland.
It was he who wrote to his foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, on 21 October 1942, after the first British victory of the Second World War at El Alamein:
‘Hard as it is to say now.. I look forward to a United States of Europe, in which the barriers between the nations will be greatly minimised and unrestricted travel will be possible.’
And it was he who said in his famous speech on 5 March 1946 at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri:
“The safety of the world requires a new unity in Europe, from which no nation should be permanently outcast.”
▪ And yet, it’s Britain that is maximising the barriers between European nations and restricting travel.
▪ And yet, it’s Britain that is shunning unity in Europe by making ourselves a permanent outcast.
What have we done?
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