where do we stand?
The United Kingdom has left the European Union (EU) at midnight on 31 January 2020 (23:00 GMT). A transition period is now in place until 31 december 2020. During this period, all EU rules and regulations will continue to apply to the UK. Virtually nothing will change for businesses or for the public during this time.
During the transition period, all EU rules and regulations will continue to apply to the UK. Virtually nothing will change for businesses or for the public. This will give everyone more time to prepare themselves for the new agreements that the EU and the UK will conclude concerning their future relationship after 31 December 2020. If both the UK and the EU agree, this transition period may be extended once by two years, meaning it could remain in place until 31 December 2022. British Prime Minister Johnson has said, however, that he will not seek an extension.
Read the Withdrawal Agreement of 12 November 2019 on the website EUR-lex (the web portal for European Union legislation).
The agreement covers a range of issues, including:
the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British nationals in the EU (for the moment, little – if anything – will change for these people);
the amount the UK will contribute to the EU budget (and for how long);
the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
You can read more about the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British nationals in the EU in a document published by the European Commission. You can download the document in English and Dutch.
Now that Brexit is a fact the EU and the UK can negotiate the details of their future relationship. This will include agreeing on what conditions will apply to EU-based companies that want to do business in and with the UK after the transition period. Negotiations will also take place on citizens’ rights and cooperation on security.
There will be more clarity on the new relationship between the EU and the UK only once this phase of the negotiations has been completed. The new agreements will enter into force after the transition period, which will end on 31 December 2020. These new agreements, too, will have to be approved by the individual member states, the UK parliament and the European Parliament. If no agreement is reached about the future relationship between the UK and EU, there will be a ‘no deal’ Brexit after the transition period.
The Netherlands will not negotiate with the UK directly. The European Commission will negotiate on behalf of the remaining 27 EU member states. The Commission will negotiate on the basis of the mandate it is given by the EU countries. This mandate sets out what the Commission can discuss with the UK and what negotiating position it should take.
Brexit timelineKey dates in the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU: