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Dutch Brexit Act

  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands
  • Brexit
  • Competition, EU and Trade



On 16 November 2018, a legislative proposal was submitted to the Dutch Parliament setting out plans for a series of changes to regulations in preparation for Brexit – The “Dutch Brexit Act”.

The Act aims to mitigate the fallout from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, by instilling necessary protective legislation. There is of course still no real clarity on the situation, but whether an agreement is reached or no, this Act provides sufficient freedom of action in cases of urgent and unforeseen issues and a ‘catch all’ provision – emergency legislation - that provides the government the competence to react adequately in each area of law.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by the UK and the EU as currently drafted, a transition or implementation period will commence and, for all practical purposes, the UK will be subject to all EU law as if it remained a member state until the WA comes to an end. If the WA is not agreed, and no alternate agreement is concluded, then the UK will leave the EU and become a third country from 30 March 2019. Only the standard World Trade Organisation rules and any bilateral treaties between the UK and the Netherlands which may still be in force will apply to trade between the UK and the Netherlands.


Although in many cases the existing legislative frameworks offer sufficient possibilities to act quickly and adequately, two categories of necessary amendments have been identified. First, those amendments that will need to be made as a result of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, irrespective whether or not the EU and UK agree the WA. Secondly, those amendments, in relation to measures that it is foreseeable will be required but whose exact content cannot yet be determined.

Acts in which the Government decidedly considers needing material change include The Companies Formally Registered Abroad Act, social security acts and the Road and Traffic Act, amongst others. As the legislative proposal provides for the quick enactment of new rules and regulations and in the coming months, other effects on business might also come into force.

How Eversheds Sutherland can help

We are one of 9 firms awarded Tier 1 status for our legal advice by the Legal 500, a go-to firm for Brexit contingency planning and legal advice, monitoring of developments and client and industry specific briefings.

Our lawyers and consultants have advised various institutions passporting into the UK from EU27 Member States and passporting from the UK into the EU27 on Brexit planning and Brexit related issues.

We would be happy to discuss how we can help you with your Brexit planning and execution of those plans.