On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom indicated its desire to leave the European Union and will therefore no longer be part of the European internal market and the customs union. Analyses show that the impact of Brexit on Flanders will be major. (Read more below: the Impact Studies by Professor Hylke Vandenbussche (KULeuven). 

However, Flanders chose to be constructive and wishes to have maximal impact on the negotiations to limit the impact on our region, but also on the European Union and the UK.  In order to weigh in on these negotiations, the Government of Flanders has identified its priorities for the different phases of the negotiations and listed these in a vision statement

As of February 2020 the second phase commenced. As stipulated in the Withdrawal Agreement, the future relationship between the EU and the UK should be determined before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) if both parties want to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Once again, the Government of Flanders has identified its priorities on the future relationship in order to weigh in on these negotations. 

At the same time, the Government of Flanders is doing everything in its power to prepare Flemish companies as well as possible for Brexit. The preparations take various scenarios into account, including a no-deal brexit. (The  Brexit actieplan  is only available in Dutch). 

Future partnership EU-UK cover
Vision statement Brexit negotiations 2017
cover Brexit actieplan
Brexit impact studies by University of Leuven (KU Leuven)

The Department of Foreign Affairs has asked Professor Hylke Vandenbussche (KU Leuven) to research the economic impact of several Brexit scenarios. This has resulted in two research papers.

Brexit impact study: Regional, Provincial and Municipality-Level Analysis of the Impact of Brexit on Belgium

This paper analyses the economic impact of Brexit on Belgium, with specific attention for the effects at the regional, provincial, and communal levels. The study researches the impact of a no deal Brexit, as well as a soft Brexit scenario.

pdf fileBrexit impact study Regional, Provincial and Municipality-Level Analysis of the Impact of Brexit on Belgium (1.4 MB)

Brexit Impact study: Sector-Level Analysis of the Impact of Brexit on the EU-28  

The study analyses the sectoral impact of Brexit on each of the EU-28 and reveals how supply chain disruption caused by Brexit affects added value and employment in both a hard and a soft brexit scenario. The Global Network Model (GNM) that was used takes direct as well as indirect trade flows into account. In addition, the study discloses for 15 specific economic sectors like textiles, chemicals, automotive, agriculture and food & beverages a ranking of the 10 most impacted member states. 
pdf fileBrexit impact study Sector-level Analysis of the Impact of Brexit on EU-28 (1.26 MB)

Furthermore, the Flanders Department of Foreign Affairs draws some key takeaways from the study. 

pdf fileBrexit study main takeaways from Flanders (80 KB)

The Flemish Framework decree "no-deal Brexit" 13 March 2019

As long as there is no approved agreement between the UK and the EU the chance on a no-deal brexit remains, and the political circumstances of this week make this chance more realistic. A no-deal Brexit means that the UK becomes a third country overnight, and that for the application of the European, federal and Flemish regulations the regulations for third country nationals would have to be reverted to. This would have undesirable consequences: the general interest may be harmed, but also private interests of both British and Flemish citizens and businesses, and the smooth administrative handling of files may be compromised. Therefore, it is essential that the Union and its Member States prepare themselves for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement.

Flanders will therefore adopt a decree that ensures that the most serious shocks of a no-deal Brexit are mitigated. This decree provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020, allowing citizens, businesses and administrations to adapt to the new situation and allowing governments to conclude international agreements or make further arrangements.

Read more about the Flemish Framework decree no-deal Brexit : pdf fileExplanation Framework Decree no-deal Brexit 13 March 2019 (58 KB)