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UK drivers may have to pay extra £5 to drive in EU as licence 'may no longer be valid'

The UK’s latest policy document doesn’t rule out this applying for UK drivers in Ireland in the wake of a no-deal Brexit.

A mock customs checkpoint between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
A mock customs checkpoint between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

UK DRIVERS WHO want to drive in European countries after Brexit may have to get an additional permit added to their licences as their current ones “may no longer be valid by itself” after Britain leaves the EU.

That permit will cost each driver £5.50, with the UK’s National Audit Office previously warning that anywhere between 100,000 and seven million international permits would need to be issued in the first year after Brexit, if no deal is reached.

This news came part of the British government’s latest “no deal planning papers”, which outlines what would happen in a number of instances if the UK and EU cannot agree a Brexit deal prior to Britain leaving in March 2019.

The policy document also doesn’t rule out that this could apply to UK driving licence holders travelling to Ireland, if no deal occurs.

Although it points out that a no-deal scenario “remains unlikely”, it said that it was its duty as a “responsible government to prepare for all eventualities”.

“It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated,” it said. “Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no-deal’ outcome.”

While the policy document acknowledges that the UK government must “respect out unique relationship with Ireland” in this scenario, the application of these rules around driving licences for Northern Irish people driving across the border is not ruled out.

“The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States,” it said, adding that the UK government would be on hand to “engage constructively” on the matter.

Another potential implication from a no-deal Brexit is that UK nationals travelling to the Schengen area in the EU may need to make sure their passports have six months left to run. 

“If your passport does not meet these criteria, you may be denied entry to any of the Schengen area countries, and you should renew your passport before you travel,” the UK government said.

Other potential implications of a no-deal Brexit included higher roaming charges for mobile customers, and a new range of health warnings on cigarette packaging. 

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Sean Murray

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