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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. 

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


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