There has been a lot of speculation over how Brexit could impact the personal finances of British households, but now that a deal has been agreed its possible to look at things with a bit more clarity.
We officially left the EU at the end of January in 2020, with a transition period that finished on the 31 December last year. This means that there have been a lot of changes, both to financial regulations within our own country, and the way that we do business with other countries.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic means that Brexit is likely to have far less of an effect on property prices than it otherwise would have. House prices rose significantly towards the end of the last year, and now forecasters are suggesting that they could fall dramatically by the end of 2021. It’s an unstable market, but not one that is being unduly swayed by Brexit.
For foreign citizens, it may become a little more difficult to get a mortgage in the UK. Santander have already updated their mortgage policy so that only UK residents can apply. Additionally, those who already have a mortgage with the bank may need to prove they have the right to live permanently in the UK. Other banks may follow suit with similar policies.
You’re unlikely to see many changes in the price that you pay for general shopping. However, if you regularly buy online from EU based companies. It’s worth noting that the UK courts won’t be able to provide any support should something go wrong with a transaction. You can still challenge unfair business practice, but you would need to go through the legal system of the supplier’s country.
There is some speculation that Brexit might drive household energy bills up. A lot of the gas and electricity that we use is imported from Europe, and leaving the EU makes that process a little bit more complicated. It means that costs could rise, and energy suppliers may pass that cost on to their customers.
Travelling to Europe
International travel is the area that is likely to see the most change. You still won’t need a VISA to travel to most EU countries, providing you’re only staying for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. However, from 2022 that will cost you: you’ll have to pay for a VISA waiver in order to travel.
If you plan to travel with your pet, you’ll now need an animal health certificate showing that your pet has been vaccinated and microchipped. The cost of the procedures themselves will vary depending on your pet and local vet charges, and the certificate itself will set you back just under a hundred pounds.
A current EU pet passport issued in GB will NOT be valid for travel to the EU or NI from 1st January 2021.
Before your dog, cat or ferret can travel to the EU or NI for the first time after 1st January 2021, you’ll need to apply for an animal health certificate.informed the Royal Veterinatey College.
The good news is that there are no changes to the compensation that’s available to those who suffer from late or cancelled flights. The EU has rules ensuing that passengers receive a minimum amount of compensation if their flight is delayed by three hours or more – and these rules are also enshrined into English law.
Finally, if you are travelling, make sure that you have the correct paperwork. Those planning to drive while abroad will need their driver’s licence, logbook and valid insurance documents, including the green card. And, as European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are no longer being issued, you’ll also need suitable medical insurance – although it’s worth noting that EHIC cards issued before the end of 2020 will be valid until their expiry date.
All told, the immediate impact on UK finances doesn’t seem as drastic as some had feared. However, it is still early days, and it will be months or even years before we fully understand how Brexit has changed the financial lives of people in the UK.