Brexit: Main points to remember


On the 23rd of June 2016, the British people spoke in favour of their country leaving the European Union (EU). The withdrawal procedure was launched on  the 29th of March 2017. In principle, this procedure lasts two years, which means the  United Kingdom should leave the EU on the 29th of March 2019.

In order to ensure an orderly withdrawal, the EU and the British government have negotiated a withdrawal agreement, which needs to be approved by the British parliament in order to be enforced. If this agreement is approved, the U.K. will effectively leave the EU on the 29thof March 2019, and a planned transition period will then go underway and last until the 31st of December  2020 (this period could be prolonged for maximum two years, by common agreement). During this transition period, European law will still be of application in the United Kingdom, which will notably mean that the situation of Belgian residents will equally go unchanged.

During this transition period, the EU and the United Kingdom should negotiate agreements setting the framework for their future relations, starting from the expiry of the transition period. It is these future agreements that would then apply to Belgians wishing to travel to the United Kingdom after the end of the transition period.

The 15th of January and the 12th of March 2019, the British Parliament rejected the draft agreement that had been negotiated. This rejection does not necessarily mean a hard Brexit, without an agreement (“no deal”). At this stage every scenario remains a possibility.