As the Brexit transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020, a number of rules are coming into place on the run up to the UK leaving the EU, with new measures to take effect in the new year.
Here’s everything you need to know, at a glance.
The Immigration Act
The Immigration Act has received Royal Assent and been signed into law, which means free movement will end at 11pm on 31 December.
Those who wish to come into the UK to work will need to apply for permission in advance, and will be awarded points for a job offer at the appropriate skill level and for meeting the appropriate salary threshold. Visas will then be awarded to those who gain enough points.
Covid Winter Grant Scheme
The Government’s significant package of extra targeted financial support for those in need over the winter period is in place from early December until the end of March.
The £170 million scheme will see funding go to county councils and unitary authorities, who will administer the scheme and provide assistance to support families with children, alongside other vulnerable households and individuals.
This grant will be used to support those most in need across England with the cost of food, energy, water bills and other associated costs.
In Scotland, the Winter Plan for Social Protection is a £100 million package which will help people to pay for food, heating, warm clothing and shelter during the winter.
The fund will help those on low incomes, children and people at risk of homelessness or social isolation cope with winter weather and the economic impact of both Covid-19 and Brexit.
New drone rules to come into place
From 31 December 2020, numerous new European drone regulations are coming into place.
These regulations are as follows:
The Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) is being replaced by a new systemThree new categories of operations are being introduced, relating to the level of risk involved in your flightNew drone classes will be introduced based on weight and other specifications
The three categories of operations which will be introduced are:
Open Category - low-risk operations will not require any authorisation, but will be subject to strict operational limitationsSpecific Category - for medium-risk operations, operators will have to require an authorisation from the national aviation authority on the basis of a standardised risk assessment or a specific scenarioCertified Category - in the case of high-risk operations, classical aviation rules will apply
On 31 December 2020, any operator of a drone which weighs less than 250g, but has a camera (other than a toy), must also be registered.
Brexit transition period ends
The Brexit transition period will end on 31 December 2020, with new rules both for businesses and citizens to come into effect from 1 January 2021.
The Government explains that you need to act now if you’re:
importing goods from the EUexporting goods to the EUmoving goods to or from Northern Irelandtravelling to the EUliving and working in the EUstaying in the UK if you’re an EU citizen
You can check what you may need to do for you, your business or your family on the government website.
You will be asked a series of questions, including where you live, work and plan to go on holiday, in order to find the list of things you may need to act on first.