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Belgian government prepares for Brexit impact

September 24, 2019

The Belgian Federal government is currently making every effort to prepare the country as best as possible for the consequences of an imminent (‘no-deal’) Brexit. Following last Friday’s Council of Ministers, an additional press conference was held, specifically on the theme of ‘Brexit’.

The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (EU) is currently scheduled for 31 October. If the EU and the United Kingdom fail in concluding a negotiated agreement by then, this will have direct consequences for the relations between both partners. “The impact on our country will first be felt in terms of traffic flow. First of all, the freight transport to the UK, passing through our country, will again face border controls and longer queues. This also applies, yet to a lesser extent, to passenger transport to the United Kingdom”, said Belgian Minister of Home Affairs and Security Pieter De Crem.

The measures needed to deal with this situation as affectively as possible, need to be implemented at both national and international level. Minister De Crem : “First of all, we are going to focus on a smooth cooperation between, for instance, customs agencies and the various provincial authorities in order to guarantee an optimal traffic flow. In addition, we will conduct additional inspections at the ‘gates of entry’ to our country, such as in Arendonk and Berendrecht. International contacts have also been made : I am in contact with my French counterpart regarding traffic flows alongside Zeebruges in the direction of France. Secondly, during the European summit to be held at the end of October, the Benelux countries and France will plan a joint consultation in order to carry out a preliminary assessment and to set out a roadmap for the period thereafter.”

In conclusion, Minister De Crem stated that in addition to all this, sufficient attention will be paid to the link with maintaining public order.

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