Brexit

Overview

The UK is preparing to leave the EU on 31 October. If you are currently based in an EU country or Sovereign Base Area (including Gibraltar), or you, as an Army spouse or partner, are an EU national, take a look at the latest information and useful links below to find out more. In the meantime, if you have a specific, immigration-related enquiry, contact our Foreign & Commonwealth team.

Contents

01   Passports

You should continue to ensure your passport will be valid for travel after the UK leaves the EU using the passport checker on the gov.uk website.

You will need to have six months left from the day of your arrival, excluding any extra months added if you renewed your passport early.

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02   Driving

From the date that the UK leaves the EU, you may need to hold the following to drive legally in an EU country:

  • An International Driving Permit from a UK Post Office or Forces Post Office that sells them, if required by the country you will be driving in. Click here for details of which International Driving Permit you will need for each country. Further information is provided in the relevant DIN. Service personnel and UK Civil Servants who require an International Driving Permit in connection with their duties can reclaim the cost via JPA or HRMS.
  • A ‘green card’ (or multiple green cards) demonstrating proof of insurance for your vehicle(s).
  • A GB sticker for your car, even if you have a GB identifier on your number plate.

 

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03   Tax-free goods and vehicles

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, the rules on the movement of personal effects and motor vehicles to the UK from the EU will change. These changes will bring the rules governing transfer of vehicles and personal effects from EU countries into line with those covering non-EU countries.

In this situation any personal effects or vehicles that you return to the UK after EU Exit, that you were previously able to purchase and return to the UK without having to pay customs duty or import VAT, may need to meet the criteria for Transfer of Residence relief.

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04   Kindergeld

For those personnel in Germany, if you are leaving Germany before the UK leaves the EU, you will need to cancel your Kindergeld payments or you will be liable to repay any payments you received after you left Germany.

In the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, your Kindergeld payments will cease automatically so you will not need to take any action. This only applies to those remaining in Germany.

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05   Privately-owned weapons

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you will need to follow UK import/export rules and the licensing rules of individual EU countries if you are travelling with a privately-owned firearm or shotgun.

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06   Travelling with pets

If you are expecting to travel with a pet to the EU after 31 October 2019, you should take the necessary steps to ensure your pet can travel in the event of no deal. Be aware that this process can take over four months. The rules for taking your pet to any EU country will change if the UK leaves with no deal and is treated as an unlisted country – your pet will need to be microchipped, vaccinated and tested for rabies before it can travel. If there is no deal, pet passports issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to EU. See gov.uk for more details.

It’s less complicated for those entering the UK from the EU after the 31 October 2019. As there will be no change to the current requirements, your pet will require one of the following documents:

  • An existing EU pet passport (both for UK & EU citizens)
  • The EU health certificate issued in the UK to travel to the EU
  • A UK pet health certificate (issued outside the UK for travel into the UK only).
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07   Military allowances

Are you posted overseas and have concerns about Local Overseas Allowance (LOA) and exchange rates as a result of Brexit? The purpose of the allowance is to contribute to the difference between the cost of living in the UK and your overseas location. The Defence Business Service (DBS) and the Pay Colonel’s staff calculate LOA rates during overseas visits; the rates are regularly reviewed, meaning you should not be out of pocket because of your posting.

DBS tracks the value of the pound to see if a change to the Forces Fixed Rate (FFR) of exchange is necessary; any changes are published on the first of each month. If the FFR is reduced, the LOA you receive will increase, as more Sterling is needed to buy the same goods than before. However, if the FFR is increased, the LOA you receive will reduce, as less Sterling is needed to buy the same goods as before.

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08   Immigration and the EU

After Brexit, the rules that allow EU, EEA and Swiss nationals to live in the UK will change. Take a look at Foreign & Commonwealth – Brexit to help you and your family prepare for these changes.

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