Our departure from the EU has finally happened and – despite the Christmas Eve trade deal – its 27 nations are now like other foreign countries. Setting ever-changing Covid travel restrictions to one side, the one exception is Ireland – you can travel there, retire there or work there. If you are planning a trip to most of the other 26 nations, then you cannot stay for more than 90 days within any period of 180 days. So people with holiday homes who want to spend half a year in the warm will not be able to do so – at least not in one chunk – unless they get a visa. If you do visit, make sure you have six months on your passport.
If you take a cat or dog, you’ll need to get an animal health certificate from a vet in the ten days before you depart (and that also applies to the whole island of Ireland).
To take a job in an EU country you will need a visa, and each country may impose its own conditions. Professional qualifications that are accepted in the UK may no longer be recognised in EU countries. Time spent working and paying local taxes in the EU – before 2021 and after – will count towards qualifying for a UK state pension Short-term business visits will be allowed for some specific purposes, like conferences or consultancy.
The UK state pension can be paid to people living in any EU country and it will rise each April as it does in the UK. That is the same for people who moved to the EU before or after the end of 2020. People who go to live in an EU country in future will not get UK child benefit and those over pension age will not get the winter fuel payment, but people already living in the EU before the end of 2020 will continue to be eligible if they fulfil the other conditions.
Some UK banks are closing the accounts of people living in some EU countries. If your bank decides to close your UK account there is not much you can do about it
except try to find another UK bank that will take new customers living in your country.
Paul Lewis presents Money Box on Radio 4