The transition period

The UK is leaving the EU single market and customs union and there is a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate new arrangements.

The end of the transition period will affect citizens and businesses, as well as travel to and from the EU.

Details of the key actions that businesses and individuals need to take before the end of the transition period can be found on GOV.UK.

The current rules on trade, travel and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period.

This page provides information about how you or your business should prepare.

Actions you can take now

Actions you can take now that do not depend on negotiations.

Travelling to Europe

You can continue to travel to the EU as usual during the transition period.

From 1 January 2021 there will be new rules to travel to the EU, or to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Check what you need to do to travel to Europe from 2021.

Staying in the UK if you’re an EU citizen

You need to apply to the EU settlement scheme if you or your family are from the EU, or from Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Check what you need to do to stay in the UK.

Continue living and working in the EU

Living and working in an EU country depends on the rules in that country.

You may need to register or apply for residency. You should check that you’re covered for healthcare.

You may also need to exchange your UK driving licence for a licence issued by the EU country where you live.

Check what you must do in the country where you live.

Businesses that import and export goods

From 1 January 2021 you will need to make customs declarations to move goods into and out of the EU.

You should:

More information about Brexit preparations


You can subscribe to email updates about the transition period.

Latest Brighton & Hove news

EU Settlement Scheme

Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme

If you’re an EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland citizen, you and your family must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.

The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. It’s free to apply.

GOV.UK provides this information in 26 different European languages.

Get help filling in your application

You can get support to use the online application form if you don’t have access or you don't feel confident to use a computer or mobile device to complete the form.

ID document checking service at Brighton Town Hall

The first part of the EU Settlement Scheme application asks you to verify your identity using your European identity document, such as your passport or ID card. You can do this by either downloading an app on a compatible Android phone, an iPhone 8 or above or by posting your passport or ID card to the Home Office.

If you don’t have an Android phone, an iPhone 8 or above and don’t want to send your documents in the post, you can use our free drop-in ID document check service at Brighton Town Hall to have your identity documents checked.

Support for vulnerable migrants

Migrant Help is providing advice to vulnerable migrants who need help to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. They are running drop-in sessions for EU nationals or family members from the following groups:

  • Gypsy/traveller and Roma communities
  • people who are homeless
  • elderly people
  • people with disabilities or serious health conditions
  • victims of domestic abuse
  • victims of modern slavery and human trafficking
  • adults who have left care
  • people with low level English language ability

Citizens Advice also offers advice for EU citizens on staying in the UK after Brexit.

Support for Deaf people

The Royal Association for Deaf People provides a specialised service in sign language which includes face-to-face sessions, webcam sessions and roadshows all over the UK.

Sign up to the UK government’s Brexit email newsletter

If you are an EU citizen living in the UK, sign up to the UK government’s Brexit newsletter for email updates about developments on the:

  • status of EU citizens in the UK after we leave the EU
  • next steps for EU citizens in the UK

Advice for businesses

There are still many uncertainties about what the business and trade arrangements will be post-Brexit and what they will mean for businesses.

GOV.UK provides a tool for businesses 

To find out:

  • what’s changing in your industry
  • information on specific rules and regulations
  • what your business or organisation may need to do to prepare

Once more detail is confirmed, the Council will work with regional partners to provide information and signpost support for local businesses.

The Government has created an employer’s toolkit with advice and information to support EU citizens to apply to stay in the UK.

Several national business groups have information about the potential impact on businesses, what support is out there and proposals for how Brexit should be approached from a business perspective:

Health and medical supplies

If you’re taking medicine, the NHS asks you not to order more medicines than normal. The UK government is working closely with the NHS and suppliers to make sure medicines continue to be available.

Occasionally, the NHS does experience temporary shortages of some medicines. If this happens, you will be prescribed the best alternative to your usual medicine, as happens normally.

Learn more about what the NHS is doing to prepare

Travelling to Europe

If you’re travelling to Europe after Brexit, then you might need to think about:

  • the validity of your passport and travel documents
  • insurance and health cover
  • driving in EU countries
  • travelling with animals and pets
  • mobile data roaming

You can sign up to get email alerts about travel after Brexit from the UK government.

Supporting our communities

We are proud that Brighton & Hove is a vibrant and diverse city. As a council, we value and encourage this diversity. We also take a leading role to increase equality, inclusion and fairness across the whole of our city.

If you’re an EU citizen, you have had to deal with uncertainty and anxiety since the referendum. We want to reassure you that Brighton & Hove is your home and you will always be welcome here. You contribute to our diversity and help make our city unique. You are our family, our friends, our neighbours and our colleagues, and have been valued members of our communities for decades. We hope you will continue to make Brighton & Hove your home.

We know that there has been a rise in hate crimes following the referendum. We do not tolerate any hate incidents in our city. Our community safety team works closely with the police and our communities to prevent hate incidents and support people affected.

If you have been harmed by a hate incident either as the direct victim or as a witness, our community safety team are here to support you and provide advice.

You can contact our team by:

You can also report hate incidents to Sussex Police or call them on 101 if it’s not an emergency.

How the council is preparing for Brexit

A Brexit Resilience & Planning Group made up of staff from across the council has been in place since 2018.

The group has been:

  • monitoring Brexit negotiations
  • planning how to mitigate potential impacts of Brexit on the city and the council

A report to the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee in December 2018 outlined our approach to Brexit planning (PDF) at that time. It included an analysis of the potential impacts (PDF) of different Brexit scenarios and how the council could respond. 

Our Brexit Readiness Report for January 2020 (PDF) provides an overview of potential risks and issues related to Brexit in Brighton & Hove, which are being monitored and reviewed regularly.

A cross-party working group of councillors was set up at the beginning of 2019. This group has democratic oversight of the council’s actions in response to Brexit. It also coordinates relations with stakeholders and communities where potential impact has been identified.

We are also working closely with other local authorities and agencies across the region through the Sussex Resilience Forum. This forum is working together to make sure there are robust plans in place to limit disruption as much as possible.