When the UK was a member of the EU there was no need for a passport to visit the UK. It was enough with a ID card from your EU country or a driving license.

As brexit process is going on when are EU citizens meant to use their passports to visit the UK?

  • 3
    This hasn't been decided yet, rendering any answer necessarily an opinion without any basis to differentiate them.
    – user4657
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 6:53
  • Maybe never. The UK could continue to accept ID cards after leaving the EU. If it did, it would be joining several other countries that do so.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 3:41
  • "or a driving license": that is not correct. Only a passport or national ID card will do. A national ID is not just any ID, as implied in the question, but a secure document issued by government authorities that serves as proof of nationality as well as identity.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 4:57

2 Answers 2


The UK remains an EU member state until 31st October 2019. Unless a further extension is requested and granted. (One is obligated to be requested if an agreement is not reached by the 19th Oct)

At the time of writing, there have been no changes to identity document requirements for EEA (includes EU) or Swiss citizens visiting the UK - they can enter the UK with a valid passport or a national identity card issued by such a state. We don't know today whether that will change after March 2019.

  • 2
    It's possible under article 50 that the UK will remain in the EU after March 2019. It's likely that ID cards will be accepted during any transition period related to EU free movement rights. Such a period has been proposed, but is not yet definite as far as I know. It's possible that the UK will continue to accept ID cards indefinitely; several non-EU countries accept them.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 3:39

UK is not in the Schengen area. Everyone needs a passport to move between UK and the Schengen area, even today.

You may or may not need a visa from March 2019. Nobody knows this yet. There could be agreement that a UK or EU passport is enough to cross borders, there could be agreement that a visa is required (and some UK newspaper already phantasized about visa costing £50), there could be agreement of something like ESTA, there could be no agreement at all and you get arrested on sight if you arrive in the wrong country. Nobody knows yet.

Same treatment as for Swiss citizens seems a reasonable goal that everyone should be able to agree on.

  • 4
    This is absolutely incorrect. EU citizens can use their national ID cards to pass though border controls in any EU country, including the UK. Since this is Law, I'll add a citation; see article 5 of Directive 2004/38/EC.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 3:42

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