What you need to know about Brexit

VisitBritain Brexit consumer sentiment research
VisitBritain’s report on the latest wave of Brexit consumer sentiment research is now live. Please note that at the time fieldwork was conducted (22 February – 9 March 2021), the UK had left the EU, the transition period had ended, and the conditions agreed in the deal between the UK and the EU applied from 1 January 2021. At the same time the COVID-19 pandemic affected the ability to travel to Britain for non-essential reasons from all markets surveyed.  Read the full document here.


Nearly 2 months since the trade deal was signed, it’s time for the second instalment of ClearSight® on Businesses and Brexit. In this report we provide the ‘post deal’ counterpoint to the first edition, examining business sentiment in January and February 2021 in comparison to December 2020 when trade negotiations hung in the balance and ‘no deal’ remained a distinct possibility.

Read the latest report from ClearSight® on Businesses and Brexit 


Q & A Session

Business Events Brexit Questions by VisitBritain. Please download the Q&A here.


As of 1 January, there are changes to how we must conduct business with our partners on the continent. This page is designed to help you access the information and support that is available to help you and your business adjust.

ClearSight™ latest report on Businesses and Brexit.

There are some significant and positive elements to the deal. For instance:

  • There will be no taxes on goods (tariffs) or limits on the amount that can be traded (quotas) between the UK and the EU from 1 January.
  • New Rules of Origin allow for self-certification of goods as well as a 12-month grace period to allow time for manufacturers to adjust. Securing flexibility from the EU regarding Rules of Origin is obviously of significant benefit to the region’s export manufacturers, not least our automotive sector and those in the supply chain. For more detail see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-of-origin-for-goods-moving-between-the-uk-and-eu
  • The UK is no longer obliged to comply with EU standards of data protection, but data will continue to be exchanged in the same way for at least four months, providing the UK makes no changes to existing data protection rules.
  • The UK will continue to have access to a number of EU funding programmes, for example UK science and research will be eligible for funding from the new Horizon Europe scheme.

However, there are also some challenges that we will now face together as a region – and other areas where we will be seeking clarification on the detail from government:

  • Businesses offering services, such as banking, architecture and accounting, will lose their automatic right of access to EU markets and will face some restrictions.
  • There will no longer be automatic recognition of new professional qualifications for people such as doctors, chefs and architects.
  • Many of the rules about storing and processing data still need be decided and will be negotiated in the months ahead.


Whilst there is still a lot of detailed information to be worked through, we wanted to alert you to a range of free resources that can help you and your business adapt to our new trading relationship with the European Union.

Many businesses are most likely to see change through their people (such as the EU nationals that make up a valued part of their workforce), trading relationships (direct imports or exports of goods or services from or to the EU, purchasing or selling goods from or to the EU via a distributor) and legal protections and regulations (such as safeguarding intellectual property or product labelling requirements).

You can complete a free ‘Brexit checker, and access an extensive range of UK Government advice, by visiting www.gov.uk/transition.


In addition, the West Midlands Combined Authority has been working with our region’s business guidance organisations to deliver a range of FREE support and resources.

Having received further funding from the Government to help businesses prepare, the West Midlands’ Growth Hubs have joined forces to establish a single point of information. 

The site is designed to act as one central resource where businesses will be able to access tailored support and advice and a calendar of upcoming events. And through the site there is an opportunity to access 1-2-1 guidance from a local expert.

I would strongly encourage you to access this local, tailored support by visiting https://bit.ly/EUTransitionGrowthHubSupport

You can also call your local Growth Hub using the numbers below:

  • Coventry & Warwickshire: 0300 060 3747
  • Birmingham & Solihull: 0800 032 3488
  • Black Country: 01902 322 995




Guidance regarding what visitors will need to enter the UK, school travellers entering the UK, what visitors can bring into the UK, healthcare in the UK for overseas visitors, and requirements for driving in the UK, can all be found here.

Brexit and Tourism 

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and is now in a transition period until 31 December 2020.

The future of reciprocal arrangements between the UK and European Union are ongoing and subject to negotiations. Please ensure you check the official UK Government website for updates prior to travelling.


Updated guidance for EU, EEA or Swiss citizens on crossing the UK border and visiting the UK from 1 January 2021.

Guidance has been updated on the ‘Visiting the UK from 1 January 2021’ section on gov.uk. Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do now. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to be able to travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. They will be able to cross the UK border using a valid passport which should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK. They will not be able to use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021 unless they:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • have a frontier worker permit
  • are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • are a Swiss Service Provider


UK and US sign Customs agreement

The UK and US governments agreed a deal to continue Customs cooperation following EU Exit. Further details are available on gov.uk.  


EU Transition – Data Protection Partnership Pack – please download here. 

This document has been updated, please see attached.


Can EU citizens come to live and work in the UK after the Brexit transition has ended?

Please visit gov.uk for advice for EU citizens interested in living and working in the UK.

School children visiting the UK – Will collective visas for school groups still apply?

For the latest updates on collective visas, please check government guidance for school children entering the UK as part of a school group. This explains the steps leaders of school parties must take before bringing school children to the UK as part of a school group from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, if they would normally need a visa to enter the UK.


What will EU citizens visiting the UK need to bring?

If you’re an EU citizen visiting the UK make sure you:

  • bring your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you
  • have travel insurance that covers the duration of your trip – an EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance because it does not cover everything
  • EEA and Swiss citizens visiting the UK should check the guidance on healthcare for the latest information on access to NHS healthcare.


Will European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) be phased out?

There will be no changes to healthcare access for residents of the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland who visit the UK before the end of 2020. You can continue to use your EHIC until the end of 2020 as you do now.

Please check healthcare for EU citizens visiting the UK for updates on changes following 1 January 2021.

Do EU citizens need travel insurance when they visit the UK?

The government advises visitors to the UK to take out travel insurance. This means that you can reclaim any healthcare costs you are required to pay from your insurer.

For further details, please ensure you check for updates on healthcare for EU citizens visiting the UK before you travel.



The UK tourism industry employs 3.1 million people, making it the UK’s third largest employer. However, the seasonal nature of many tourism businesses means that employers often struggle to attract and retain sufficiently skilled staff, and the industry can be overlooked for its successful, long-term career prospects.

With over two thirds of the UK’s international visitors coming from the EU, many of our members rely heavily on employees from the EU primarily for their language skills and understanding.

Unfortunately, UKInbound members are reporting that their EU employees are starting to return home and they are finding it difficult to recruit staff from within the UK. UKInbound therefore urging Government during the Brexit negotiations to ensure that there will be an immigration system in place to allow businesses to access EU workers after the UK leaves the EU, and to ensure that there is visa-free access for our EU visitors. Read more.


Bringing goods into the UK – What can visitors bring into the UK?

What you can bring into the UK varies depending on whether you are visiting from an EU country or from outside the EU. Visit the official government website for further details on bringing goods into the UK.


Can visitors with a non-UK driving licence still drive in the UK?

If you have a non-UK driving licence you are able to drive in the UK. You do not need an international driving permit (IDP).


Can visitors from the EU use their mobile phone in the UK?

You’ll pay the same for calls, texts and mobile data in the UK and the EU if you have a SIM card issued by a mobile phone network from an EU or EEA country.