The changes resulting from Britain’s exit from the EU are still being felt, with a raft of new laws set to come into effect in 2022.
It has now been more than a year since Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed the UK’s trade deal with the EU – and more than two years since he won the election on a pledge to “get Brexit done”.
The government said freedom from EU laws had allowed the UK to “take back control of our borders”, avoid clunky EU vaccine deployment rules, strike new free trade deals and “axe red tape and bureaucracy”.
But it’s not all rosy. Talks with Brussels are still deadlocked over the future of trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, reports Mirror Online.
Those talks stalled before Christmas, and now face an uncertain future after Brexit minister Lord Frost resigned.
However, in the here and now, new changes arising from Britain’s EU exit will look to come into force in the new year, including a possible extra fee we may all have to pay to holiday in the EU.
The reason changes are still coming in this far down the line is partly because the UK agreed so many transition arrangements that the effects of leaving the EU are still trickling down.
So here are four developments we’re set to see in 2022 that could affect you.
£6 fee to go on holiday in the EU
While this change is not coming in because of Brexit, it would have not applied to UK citizens if we were still in the EU.
A change in EU rules is set to slap a €7 (£6) visa waiver fee on holidaymakers from 60 non-EU countries by the end of 2022.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is expected to become operational for those visiting Schengen countries by the end of the year.
It could then be another six months before it becomes mandatory, meaning Brits may be forced to pay from mid-2023.
Those under 18 or over 70 will not have to pay the €7 fee. ETIAS authorisation will be valid for three years or the expiry date on the applicant’s passport, whichever is sooner.
EU documents say most approvals will be issued “within minutes” but some could take up to 30 days to “identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks”.
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Big business changes kick in today
Brexit import checks kick in today in a move business chiefs fear could swamp small firms with red tape – and leave food rotting at ports.
Full customs controls were delayed three times, but are finally being slapped on imports from the EU to Great Britain on New Year’s Day.
The change means firms on both sides of the Channel must fill out more complex paperwork to bring goods from the Continent to Britain.
British firms previously had up to 175 days to complete customs declarations, but must now do so “at the point of import”.
British firms must also obtain “rules of origin” declarations that show if the goods they are importing were made inside the EU.
And any EU firm sending animal or food products to Britain – from steaks to cake mix with an egg – must “pre-notify” the British authorities with 24 hours’ notice.
The customs controls will not apply to goods entering Great Britain from the island of Ireland after a government climbdown.
British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Head of Trade Policy William Bain told the Mirror if firms fail to “pre-notify” food exports to Britain, “we may see some consignments stuck at ports in the EU, and not coming over to stores and distribution centres in Great Britain.”
He added: “Fish, milk, these perishable products are most at risk if there’s a lack of preparedness.”
And he warned some small firms may give up on taking imports from the EU altogether if it’s too much hassle, cutting shoppers’ choice.
More business changes in July
Other Brexit checks were delayed even further over fears for businesses – so there’ll be another hit when they come in.
EU food imports to the UK will need export health certificates from July 1, 2022, after the last date of October 1 was pushed back.
Physical ‘SPS checks’ on animal products at border control posts, along with safety and security declarations on imports, will also begin on July 1.
This will add red tape and complexity to food imports to the UK – and while you may not notice the difference, the last year has proved how supply bottlenecks can lead to empty shelves.
Mobile roaming charges return
Brexit allowed firms to bring back roaming charges for Brits abroad, so Vodafone will do so on January 6.
The firm will then be followed by EE on March 3 and Three from May 23.
Each network is reintroducing roaming charges, which will cost £2 per day when abroad in certain destinations.
The changes for EE will affect those holidaying in 47 countries, while Vodafone says customers face the charges in 49 places.
Roaming charges will typically affect customers on pay monthly and SIM-only deals.
O2 has also changed its “fair use” policy, which caps the amount of UK data allowance you can use for free while roaming in Europe.
Before Brexit, Tory ministers assured the nation that the vast majority of phone firms had “no plans” to bring roaming charges back.