These are the nine new laws coming into force in the UK this year


It’s not just Brexit which will be bringing in legal changes this year – there are other laws being introduced as well.

From health insurance to immigration, these are the nine new laws coming into effect later this year:

National Lottery rules

The National Lottery minimum age is set to rise to 18 from October in a crackdown on a gambling loophole.

The age increase – which will see players have to be 18 rather than the current 16 – was announced on December 8.

The new age restriction will come into effect from October 2021 and online sales to 16 and 17-year-olds are due to stop in April.

Mobile phone contracts

The law on mobile phone contracts is changing for everybody this year .

The changes this year mean things should (in theory, at least) be more straightforward.

Things are being made simple for anybody signing up to a new phone contract.

The law is changing to implement a ban on mobile phone companies selling handsets “locked” to a network.

It will make switching provider easier for consumers this year, after industry regulator Ofcom pushed through the change.

Drivers to be banned from picking up mobile phones

The government has been consulting on current laws around mobile phones in cars in a bid to make it illegal in all circumstances.

Currently, it is only illegal to make and receive calls and texts while behind the wheel.

But there is no law stopping drivers from taking photographs, playing games or even scrolling through music playlists.

Changes to make this legal loophole obsolete are underway and are expected to be introduced in the spring.

Freedom of movement ends

The UK’s freedom of movement within the EU – which gives people from EU membership countries the right to live and work abroad – ended on December 31.

A new point-based system has replaced it, much like they have in Australia.

From January, jobs offered to non-UK workers must have a skill level of ‘RQF3’ or above (equivalent to A level).

Workers must also be able to speak English and secure a salary from their sponsor that meets the threshold – £25,600 or the going rate for the job, whichever is higher.

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Travel bans

Brits could be barred from entering EU countries from today unless they renew passports, a new warning has said.

Holidaymakers from the UK will need at least six months remaining on their passports under rules set to be introduced at the end of the Brexit transition period.

No more free roaming

UK mobile phone users currently get free data roaming across the whole of the EU.

Phone firms will be free to hit you with roaming charges.

You must check with your phone provider to see if you will be affected.

Blue passports

Championed by Brexiteers, the new-look documents will replace the burgundy passports which were rolled out in 1988.

The first new passports will be issued from the beginning of March, and by mid-2021 all new passports will be blue, the Government anticipates.

Copyright

Platforms like Google and YouTube will now be legally responsible for the user-generated material they host in the EU.

From January they will have to obtain licences from rights-holders to show their material.

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EHIC

EHIC will not be valid for most Brits as we leave the EU.

Visitors from the UK have qualified for free or very low-cost medical treatment in the EU.

The European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) and its predecessor, the E111, was available to anyone from the UK heading to EU nations.

Travel insurance should also be purchased for all visits but the UK hopes to arrange medical treatment options with individual nations.





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