The Schengen Agreement is one of the most important international agreements that ensure open borders across participating countries, including the UK. However, following the Brexit referendum, the UK’s relationship with the Schengen Agreement has changed significantly, leading many to wonder when the UK left the Schengen Agreement.
The Schengen Agreement was signed in 1985 and was formed as an agreement between a total of 26 European countries, including most EU states and four other countries. Through the agreement, participating countries aimed to promote the free movement of people across borders without the need for passports and visa requirements.
However, the UK was never a full member of the Schengen Agreement, despite being a member of the European Union since 1973. Instead, the UK was granted an opt-out from the agreement and maintained its own borders and visa requirements.
Following the Brexit referendum in 2016, the UK officially left the European Union on January 31, 2020. As a result, the UK is no longer a member of the Schengen Agreement, and there is a need for passports and visa requirements for traveling across UK borders.
While the UK’s departure from the Schengen Agreement has had a significant impact, it has not disrupted the UK’s long-standing relationship with Europe. The UK continues to maintain healthy relationships with its European neighbors, including close trade ties, despite the new changes.
In conclusion, the UK left the Schengen Agreement officially on January 31, 2020, following the Brexit referendum. As a result, there is a need for passports and visa requirements to travel across UK borders, which has led to significant changes in immigration and travel policies. However, the UK continues to maintain good relationships with its European neighbors, ensuring ongoing cooperation and collaboration across a range of areas.