Press Release

UK formally triggered Article 50

After the UK formally triggered Article 50, its exit from the European Union is officially underway. Together with the 26 other member states, our country is ready to start negotiating about the terms of this exit soon. The purpose is to organise the withdrawal in the most orderly fashion.

Prime Minister Charles Michel: “Belgium will adopt a constructive attitude during the negotiations. We are convinced that any agreement must benefit both the United Kingdom and the European Union. Commitments from the past must be honoured. Transition measures must allow for a smooth transition, provided they are clearly defined and a fitting legal framework is in place. It is crucial that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK are safeguarded, under the principle of reciprocity.”

Belgium is one of the member states that has the closest economic ties with the UK and it will attempt to negotiate an agreement that provides the greatest possible protection of our economic interests, both in the short and long term.

Prime Minister Charles Michel : “We are in favour of a far-reaching free trade agreement with the United Kingdom. Such an agreement must honour the integrity of the single market and its four liberties. Securing a fair and level playing field is the main objective here, as is providing a clear legal framework. Such an agreement is based on finding a proper balance between rights and obligations.”

Our country respects the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, even though it regrets it. The notification provides much-needed clarity, after the referendum of 23 June 2016. Belgium continues to aspire after the closest possible ties between the United Kingdom and the European Union. In this view Belgium has carefully prepared its position thanks to the analysis of the High Level Group.