From passports to driving to mobile phone roaming: What will change now that the UK has left the European Union?

The United Kingdom left the European Union at 2300 on Friday January 31 - 'Brexit Day'.

It marked the end of more than four decades of partnership, and the start of an 11 month-long transition period which will see a new deal thrashed out.

Much is set to change once that transition period comes to a close at the end of December 2020 - but what about between now and then?

  • ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi looks at how Brexit will affect consumers

What happens to my passports after Brexit?

New passports, similar to those from before the UK was in the EU, will be issued. Credit: Unsplash

During the transition period, very little will change in terms of international travel to the European Union.

Passports bearing the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland cover will continue to be accepted, so long as they are in date.

There's likely to be some confusion after Brexit as to which passport booth Britons should use; until the end of December 2020, it's fine to use the EU citizen gates as normal.

After the transition period ends, this will change.

Passports will continue to be valid until their expiry after Brexit, new passports are already being issued without the European Union symbols on the cover.

The promised blue passports will start dropping through letterboxes across the UK later this year, with all new applicants being delivered a blue passport by the middle of 2020.

Can I still use the European Health Insurance Card after Brexit?

Like passports, EHICs will continue to be valid after January 31. Some 27 million Britons are in possession of one of the cards.

While the transition period is in place, the cards, which offer free state healthcare in EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, will still be valid.

This is guaranteed until the end of the transition period.

Healthcare in the EU will remain unchanged until the end of the transition period. Credit: PA

The continuing status of the scheme after this date relies on how negotiations play out over the coming year.

But there's a catch, for those whose trip started in the EU before the date the UK leaves the trade bloc, the card will still offer free healthcare after Brexit, even if the scheme ends.

The government has issued advice on healthcare in the EU after Brexit, advising people to buy health insurance like they would for a non-EU destination.

Will I need a permit to drive in the EU after Brexit?

Driving in the EU will remain unchanged, for now at least. Credit: Unsplash

Driving in the next few months will remain unchanged, until the end of the transition period.

After this ends, Britons may need an international driving permit and to display a GB badge on the back of their vehicle - this will depend on the outcome of negotiations over the coming 11 months.

Can I used my phone abroad after Brexit?

British mobiles will, of course, still work in the EU after Brexit - but the price you pay to use them may change.

Depending on the outcome of trade negotiations, roaming charges may stay the same or soar.

But it's looking positive for most travellers. EE, which is the largest UK network with 25 per cent of customers using its services, has said it does not want to change the current rules - much like the other operators.

Mobile phone users won't have to worry about roaming costs, for now. Credit: Unsplash

In a statement on its website, it said: "In the event of a no-deal Brexit, EE will need to do individual deals with each of the 27 EU countries. This includes 144 operators, in total, but we will continue to do everything we can to provide inclusive roaming for our customers in the long term.

"The good news is we don't want to change the EU roaming you enjoy today, and we’ve been having positive conversations with our European partners for over a year to ensure we can continue to provide inclusive roaming."

How will it affect my travel and holiday money?

The cost of buying foreign currency may change after Brexit. Credit: Jonathan Brinkhorst on Unsplash

Currency will remain unaffected by the UK leaving the European Union, but the rate at which you are able to buy your holidays euros may change.

Throughout the preceding Brexit negotiations, sterling fell to its lowest value since the 1980s - but has continued to edge up and down.

As uncertainty about the future of the UK's relationship with the Europe continues, it's likely so will currency fluctuations.

Without a crystal ball, it's impossible to say what will happen to the value of the pound after Brexit.

What is likely to happen to house prices after Brexit?

House prices may go down after Brexit, it has been warned. Credit: Nick Hawkes on Unsplash

The governor of the Bank of England has previously warned ministers that house prices could crash by more than a third in the event of a disorderly, no-deal Brexit.

The September 2018 guidance came as senior ministers on the Bank’s planning bodies were preparing for a “cliff edge” break from the EU.

Interest rates may also change, affecting the cost of mortgages.

What about bringing back cigarettes and alcohol back from the EU?

The government says rules could change temporarily. Credit: PA

Initially, the rules will remain the same when travelling from the EU, with the same limits in place until the end of the transition period.

Some rules will temporarily change, the government says, but you’ll still be able to buy duty-free tobacco and alcohol when you’re travelling to the EU.

Officials say, from the January 1 2021, you can continue to pay tax and duties on goods where you bought them, and bring back an unlimited amount of most items - including alcohol and tobacco.

Will there be changes to living, working and studying abroad?

In the short term, not a great deal will change.

After the end of the transition period, citizens living overseas will be able to enjoy broadly the same rights as they did before Brexit, providing they are living abroad by December 31 2020.

The government says the Withdrawal Agreement secures rights and allows citizens to stay in the EU country where they live after 31 January 2020.

It also says Britons will have the same entitlements to work, study and access public services and benefits as before the UK left the EU.

When it comes to the Erasmus scheme, an EU scheme which facilitates Britons studying in the EU and vice versa, it will continue until the end of the transition period.

Funding for placements that overlap the end of the transition period will remain in place.

Although there is no firm commitment to remain in the scheme, the Department for Education has expressed an interest in continuing the scheme.

Be wary of scams around Brexit

Consumer groups are warning over the rise of scams. Credit: PA

There is likely to be an increase in the number of companies trying to con Britons out of their money as new legislation comes into place.

Consumer group Which? is warning of an explosion of scams around EHICs, tax returns to HMRC and bogus Brexit investment schemes.

The organisation warns people against making investments to "'capitalise on' Brexit or 'reduce damage' as a result of it".

It says it has seen an increase in fake schemes like claims for a 'Brexit severance cheque', and warns people from making investments or divulging person details to cold callers.