Brexit: a reminder of the main points


On 23 June 2016, the British public voted to leave the European Union (EU). The withdrawal procedure was triggered on 29 March 2017. In principle, this procedure should have lasted a maximum of two years, meaning that the United Kingdom should have left the EU on 29 March 2019. However, the European Council has granted the UK three extensions, with the last one ending 31 January 2020. The UK and the EU have agreed a new withdrawal agreement in October 2019.

When this agreement enters into force, after formal approval by the British and the European parliament and the Council of the European Union, the United Kingdom will effectively leave the EU on 1 February 2019 and a transition period will start in principal till 31 December 2020 (this period may be extended by 1 or 2 years, by mutual agreement). During this transition period, EU law will still apply to the United Kingdom, meaning that the situation of Belgian residents already living in the United Kingdom will remain unchanged.

During this transition period, the EU and the United Kingdom will negotiate the framework, which will be the basis for their relations after the transition period. It is this future framework which will apply to Belgians wishing to travel to the United Kingdom after the expiry of the transition period.