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Belgium: Draft no-deal Brexit legislation

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A draft Brexit Act has been submitted to Parliament to cover the worst short-term consequences of a no-deal Brexit. The Act would only enter into force if the UK leaves the EU without a deal and provided the UK reciprocates. It provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020 during which:

The residence rights of UK citizens residing in Belgium (electronic E(+) card) or who have applied to reside in Belgium before ‘Brexit Date’ are guaranteed. Draft Royal Decrees are being prepared to allow those UK citizens to continue to work without a work authorisation (salaried employee) or a professional card (self-employed).

Family reunification with UK citizens falling under the first bullet point above will be treated according to the applicable rules before ‘Brexit Date’, even if the application is made after Brexit Date but before 31 December 2020.

EU social security Regulations continue to apply.

UK citizens who do not reside in Belgium or who have not applied to reside in Belgium on Brexit Date will be considered as third-country nationals and require authorisation to work and reside unless an exemption applies. In Flanders a no-deal Brexit decree has also been adopted providing exemption from the requirement for a work permit or professional card until 31 December 2020 for UK citizens working in Flanders for a maximum of 90 days, provided similar measures are adopted by the UK.

Both the draft Act and the Flemish Decree provide that the transitional period can be shortened, adapted or amended depending on further developments.

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