EU identity cards will not be enough to enter UK from October 2021

Passports will be required for EU nationals to travel to the UK from October 2021. [EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN]

EU nationals will not be able to travel to the UK using their identity cards from October 2021 under new measures announced by the UK government on Thursday (8 October).

As part of the UK’s new Border Operating Model, passports will be required for entry into the UK from October 2021. The new rules will apply to tourists and other visitors to the UK but not to EU nationals living in the UK if they have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme to remain in the country.

“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 a UK government press release.

Under the scheme, Hauliers will need a Kent Access Permit to proceed to the border.

Richard Burnett, the chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, warned that “firms moving goods across borders will have to undertake customs processes whether there’s a deal or no deal.”

The announcement is a sign that the UK government is ramping up its preparations for a possible ‘no deal’ scenario.

“With fewer than 3 months to go, businesses need to prepare now for new procedures whether or not we reach a trade agreement with the EU, so that they can seize the significant opportunities that lie ahead,” said Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.

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.

Instead, the UK will operate a points-based immigration system that will encourage UK employers to recruit skilled workers from around the world. Potential migrants wishing to live and work in the UK will 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.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has held video calls with EU leaders Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen in recent days as negotiators on a new EU-UK trade deal approach a crunch fortnight. The end of October has been set as the new deadline for signing off on a trade deal in order for it to be ratified before the end of 2020.

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