EU citizens wanting to travel to the UK will not be able to enter the country with only their ID cards from October 2021, announced the UK government on October 8.
These new travel rules will both apply to tourists from the EU as well as other visitors, but not to EU citizens living in the UK if they have applied for the EU Settlement Scheme to remain in the UK. All other EU visitors to the UK will, from October 2021, be required to have a valid passport.
“Identity cards are among the least secure documents seen at the border and ending their use will strengthen our security as the UK takes back control of its borders at the end of the transition period,” stated the UK government in a press release.
It appears from this announcement that the UK government is preparing for a so called “no deal” exit from the European Union.
The UK has already abolished the special immigration status for citizens of the EU, the European Economic Area and Switzerland when the post-Brexit transition period expires on 31 December. In the future the UK plans to have a points-based immigration system, meaning that to live and work in the UK you’ll need to have a job offer paying a salary of at least £25,600, to be educated to A level standard and to speak English.
Four EEA member states (Denmark, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom) do not issue cards defined by the EU as national identity cards to their citizens. The EU freedom of movement policy still applies to the UK until the end of 2020, meaning that British citizens can still travel to EU countries without restrictions or visa requirements. Although from January 1 2020 British passport holders travelling to the EU will need to have a passport that has at least six months left on it and is less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left).