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Brexit: update!

15/04/2020
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6 minutes’ reading time
Afbeelding voor Brexit: update!

Het Verenigd Koninkrijk, bestaande uit Engeland, Schotland, Wales en Noord-Ierland, zal de Europese Unie verlaten. Ook wel de Brexit. De gunstige voorwaarden die bij de handel tussen EU-landen onderling gelden, zijn straks niet meer van toepassing op de handel tussen EU-landen en het VK. Dit zijn bijvoorbeeld voorwaarden op het gebied van bezorgtijden, aanlevervoorwaarden, douaneformaliteiten en tarieven.


Update 31 januari 2020.

Brexit took effect on Friday 31 January 2020. This means that the UK has left the EU. This email explains how Brexit will affect you if you send or are planning to send products to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Transition period
Brexit has happened, but little has changed so far. Since Brexit, the UK and the EU have entered a transition period. The transition period will last until 31 December 2020 and will be used to negotiate the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Until the end of the transition period, all existing EU rules and laws for the UK will apply. If approved by both the EU and the UK, the transition period may be extended once until 31 December 2022.

What Brexit means for you
New agreements between the UK and the EU will only apply after the transition period. This means there will be no changes for you in the short term. In the future, Brexit will affect the import and export of goods to and from the UK, tariffs, customs formalities and the transmission time.


Update: 1 November 2019.

The UK was going to leave the EU by 31 October 2019. However, this deadline was not met. This blog explains what has happened over the past two weeks and which decisions have been made.


17 October 2019.

Against all the odds, on Thursday 17 October, the EU and the UK reached another Brexit agreement. Boris Johnson has yet to present the agreement for approval by the House of Commons in the UK.

19 October 2019.

Last summer, the House of Commons passed the Benn Act. For Boris Johnson, the law meant that if parliamentary permission to leave the EU had not yet been given, with or without an agreement, he would have to request an extension in Brussels by 11pm UK time on Saturday 19 October 2019. With just 12 days to go until the UK was scheduled to leave the EU, time was running out. As a result, on 19 October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to request at least a delay to Brexit in Brussels.

22 October 2019.

However, Mr Johnson still tried to meet the Brexit deadline of October 31 2019 and put the Brexit agreement and legislation to the vote. The majority of Parliament voted in favour of Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill. Parliament voted to allow the government’s withdrawal agreement bill to pass to the next stage of the parliamentary process. With a second vote, Parliament voted against Johnson’s proposed timetable for the bill. In the view of the majority, the proposed timetable would not have allowed sufficient time for the legislation to be properly considered.

The ball then lay in the EU’s court. Member states considered Johnson’s request to postpone the UK’s withdrawal from the EU until 31 January 2020. The President of the European Union, Donald Tusk, urged a delay to Brexit. In a recommendation to the other 27 EU member states, he asked them to grant the UK’s request for their departure date to be postponed.

28 October 2019.

The other 27 member states eventually approved a delay to Brexit. The UK has until 31 January 2020 to approve the terms of their exit from the EU. The agreement drawn up between the UK and the EU can no longer be amended. Should an exit agreement be signed earlier, the UK could leave the EU earlier, for example on 1 December 2019 or 1 January 2020.

Update: 22 August 2019.

On Wednesday 10 April 2019, during an extra EU summit, all EU member states discussed whether Brexit could be postponed and until which date. The 27 remaining EU member states decided on 31 October as the new Brexit date. This gave the UK more time to approve the withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons. At this stage, the content of the agreement was non-negotiable.

Soft Brexit.

If the British Parliament were to approve the withdrawal agreement before 31 October 2019, the UK would have been able to leave the European Union earlier, for example on the first day of the following month, which would have been 1 November 2019. A transition period would have followed, lasting until 31 December 2020. During the transition period, all EU rules and laws for the UK remain in force and not much will change, as part of a ‘soft Brexit’. During this period, the EU and the UK will continue to negotiate the details of their new relationship. If necessary, the transition period could be extended once by a period of two years, until 31 December 2022.

No-deal Brexit.

The UK is free to leave the EU without an agreement at any time if Parliament changes its mind on a no-deal Brexit and wants to leave the EU. This is also known as a ‘hard Brexit’. The likelihood of this happening has recently increased. Since the resignation of Theresa May and the appointment of Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister, a no-deal Brexit seems to be a real option. Boris Johnson indicated that he is going to avoid more delays to Brexit and that the UK will leave the EU at the end of October ‘come what may’. If the no-deal Brexit situation were to apply, the UK would leave the EU with no trade arrangements or transition period. When Brexit takes effect, the UK will then be treated as a ‘third country’ and will be subject to the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The rules concern customs tariffs and formalities that apply to the import and export of goods to countries with which no additional agreements have been made. It is important that companies, institutions and citizens prepare for all possible scenarios, including a no-deal Brexit.

De Brexit Impact Scan.

Whatever the outcome, Brexit will affect anyone who sends post and parcels containing goods to and from the UK. This makes sufficient preparation very important. One recommendation is to do the Brexit Impact Scan to find out which changes you may be affected by as a result of Brexit. The changes may involve extensive customs controls, longer delivery times, as well as other conditions and tariffs. The consequences will affect your webshop and shipments to the UK, but the precise details are not yet known. If you are interested in reading a more detailed summary of potential outcomes and their effects, please visit our other blog.

The impact of Brexit on your link.

Curious about the impact of Brexit on your link? Read this blog.

More information

We are, of course, closely monitoring the developments on this subject, but to stay completely up to date we recommend that you keep an eye on the Rijksoverheid website over the coming period.