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Brexit - Are you ready?

The UK has formally left the EU on 31 January 2020. We are now in a transition period during which the UK continues to be treated as an EU member state for almost all purposes until 31 December 2020. This transition period can be extended once, by up to one or two years. The UK government announced it will not request such extension. 

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On 29 March 2017, UK Prime Minister Theresa May lodged a notification with the EU Council under Article 50(2) EU Treaty, i.e. the UK's formal notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU.  

The subsequent negotiations between the UK and the other EU member states led to a Withdrawal Agreement on 17 October 2019.  The European Parliament and the UK parliament approved this agreement. On 31 January 2020, the UK left the European Union and a transition period (also called implementation period) until 31 December 2020 started. The UK government has not asked any extension in time, meaning that the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

During the transition period, the UK and the EU are negotiating a new trade agreement establishing the relationship between them as from 1 January 2021. All EU laws and rules temporarily remain applicable to the UK, although the UK is no longer a member of the EU and no longer takes part in EU decision-making procedures. 

Belgium has adopted a so-called “Brexit Act”, i.e. the Act of 3 April 2019, providing for some measures in order to be prepared for a hard Brexit as the case may (still) be. On 6 March 2020, Belgium also adopted an additional hard Brexit act for employers in difficulties due to Brexit, with temporary measures aiming at safeguarding employment.

Depending on whether there will be a hard Brexit (in case the parties do not reach an agreement by the end of the transition period) or a negotiated Brexit, the legal landscape might be quite different after Brexit date. 

To help you prepare for the post-Brexit reality, Lydian has set up a Brexit team, composed of experts in the areas of law and the industries most affected by Brexit. 

LYDIAN BREXIT WEBINAR SERIES

WEBINAR V : Real estate, public procurement and energy

Date: 26 January 2020
Time: 01:00 pm - 02:00 pm

Worried about the impact Brexit will have on the real estate, procurement and energy sector? Will certain real estate professionals currently located in the UK relocate to the European Union? What look out for in commercial lease agreements? Will the import of natural gas from the UK be secured? Will Belgian companies still be able to bid for UK contracts? And what about allowing UK companies to bid for Belgian tenders? During this webinar, our dedicated team will inform you on the legal impact Brexit will have on Belgian real estate, procurement and energy markets.

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Webinar Series II Brexit & Commercial contracts with UK companies

As the second Webinar in the 5-part Lydian Brexit Webinars series, the Commercial & Litigation team has reflected on the consequences of the Brexit from a contractual perspective. We discussed the applicable law and the international jurisdiction of courts, the enforcement of Belgian judgments in the United Kingdom (and vice versa) and cross-border insolvency. The impact on your commercial contracts with your UK partners was also explained, as well as which contractual clauses you are advised to (re)negotiate (such as force majeure, hardship, territoriality, price revision, liability...).

Webinar Series III Brexit : IP and data protection

Lydian IP and data protection team discussed the impact of Brexit on IP rights and data protection and more particularly after to the adoption of the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement. 

Since 1st January, the EU rules in the field of European Union trademarks and Community designs do no longer apply to the United Kingdom. How do you need to adapt your IP protection and enforcement strategy?

Moreover, since that date, the UK has to be considered as a third country in terms of transfer of personal data. What does it mean concretely ? The situation was unclear until the adoption of the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement. What does such agreement stipulate? Beside the data transfer issue, it is important to remind that UK companies’ activities can still fall within the territorial scope of application of the GDPR and have thus to put in place new measures, adapt their policies in order to be compliant. Which are these measures? 

Webinar Series IV Brexit : Corporate & Finance

During the 4th session of the Lydian Brexit Webinar series, our Corporate & Financial team provided you with an overview of the most important Brexit developments since 1 January 2021. For instance, how will cross-border mergers be impacted, and what is the latest on EU-UK cross-border restructurings? What are the consequences for listed companies? How can UK companies establish a branch in the EU (and vice versa) and what is the status of UK companies in Belgium and of Belgian companies in the UK? Furthermore, what are key considerations for banks, fund managers and investment service providers? What is the latest on regulatory and licencing needs for financial services firms to carry on their EU and/or UK business? 

Belgium’s hard Brexit law (status April 2019)

If you have any questions about the possible implications for your business, please contact one of us directly via the practices/industries on the left side of this page or send an e-mail to brexit@lydian.be.

 

Send an e-mail to brexit@lydian.be