On 23 June 2016, the British people voted in a referendum with a narrow majority to leave the European Union (EU). Almost a year later the negotiations about the withdrawal and future relationship finally started between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU). The Brexit had been officially put in motion earlier, namely when British Prime Minister Theresa May called in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on 29 March 2017.
The withdrawal process will last a maximum of two years, unless all the EU member states agree to an extension. The UK will thus remain a member of the EU till 30 March 2019 and all the EU treaties continue to apply during this period.
Because the UK is an important trading partner for the Netherlands, Brexit is certain to impact Dutch businesses. The size of the economic damage remains highly uncertain and will largely depend on the trade agreements between the UK and the EU after Brexit. This means that there is a variety of possible outcomes for the rise in trade barriers: tariffs on specific products, border controls, and customs procedures. The UK will try to retain wide-ranging access to the single market, but we believe it is unlikely that the EU will consent to this unless the UK largely accepts the terms of the single market.
Read our studies on the developments on Brexit.