British driving licence ‘may not be valid in EU’ in event of no-deal Brexit

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British drivers might need new driving licences in order to hit the road on the other side of the Channel in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Government has warned.

Holidaymakers, lorry drivers and other business travellers may need International Driving Permits (IDP) if the EU does not agree to recognise UK licences, guidance released on Thursday says.

They warn British drivers may be turned away at borders or face enforcement action if they have not obtained the correct documents before arrival.

The warning was contained in a tranche of 28 technical papers released by Government departments on Thursday advising businesses and consumers on potential impacts of a no-deal Brexit.

Among the other advice was:

– Free mobile phone data roaming in the EU “could no longer be guaranteed” – although Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, which cover more than 85% of mobile subscribers, have said they have no current plans to change their approach and bring in new charges.

– Transfers of personal data from remaining EU countries to UK companies and organisations could be restricted.

– UK firms working on the EU’s 10 billion euro Galileo satellite navigation system could be cut out of existing contracts as well as barred from seeking new ones.

– Holders of legal firearms face additional bureaucracy if they want to take them to EU countries, because the European Firearms Pass would no longer be available to UK citizens.

– The Common Travel Area which has allowed British and Irish citizens to live, work and receive welfare benefits in one another’s countries since the 1920s, will remain in place

– The UK Government will guarantee funding for all projects receiving grants from the EU’s Regional Development Fund.

The release came three weeks after an initial set of 24 papers was released by the Government, with reportedly more than 80 earmarked for publication before the end of September.

Businesses may not be able to complete existing contracts on the Galileo sat-nav project if there is a no-deal Brexit, the papers reveal (Pierre Carril/ESA/PA)

Director general Carolyn Fairbairn said: “Efforts on all sides should be geared towards securing the withdrawal agreement to protect the transition period.

“This will provide temporary but essential relief for businesses of all sizes and sectors.

“Then attention can turn to the vital task of finalising our future economic relationship with the EU.”

Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, added that key questions remained unanswered.

“Firms still need greater precision from the Government in order to be able to plan ahead with confidence,” he said.

“In the unwelcome event of a no-deal, businesses need clear and comprehensive communication about how they will be affected, and the Government should be taking every possible step to minimise the disruption, bureaucracy and costs facing firms in the future.”

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