The Dutch Brexit Collection Act
On March 29, 2019, the Senate passed the Dutch Brexit Collection Act (Verzamelwet Brexit). This act aims to ensure that the consequences of the Brexit do not cause any problems for Dutch citizens and companies by offering the possibility to change laws quickly if this proves necessary from a Brexit perspective.
The act aims to mitigate the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union by introducing the necessary protective legislation. There is of course still no real clarity about the situation, but whether an agreement is reached or not, this law provides for sufficient freedom of action in case of urgent and unforeseen issues and a catch-all provision – emergency legislation – giving the Government the tools to respond adequately to every jurisdiction.
If the Withdrawal Agreement (the “Agreement”) is ratified by the UK and the EU as it is currently being drafted, a transition or implementation period begins and the UK falls under all EU legislation for all practical purposes as if it remained a Member State until the Agreement has ended. If the Agreement is not agreed and no alternative agreement is concluded, the UK leaves the EU and becomes a third country from the date of withdrawal. Only the standard rules of the World Trade Organization and any bilateral agreements in force between the UK and the Netherlands will continue to apply.
Although the existing legislative frameworks in many cases offer sufficient options for acting quickly and adequately, two categories of necessary changes have been identified. First, the changes to be made as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, regardless of whether the EU and the UK agree with the Agreement. Secondly, with regard to expected measures, those changes will be required, but the exact content of which cannot yet be determined.
Acts in which the government decides that material change is needed include the law on formally registered foreign companies (Wet op de formeel geregistreerde buitenlandse bedrijven), social security laws and the traffic and traffic law. As the law provides for the rapid introduction of new rules and regulations and in the coming months, other effects on business may also come into effect. A number of orders in council are being prepared, among others with regard to Social Security, Access to the labor market and integration, College and Study financing, Regulation of the cross-border connection for electricity with the United Kingdom, Regulation of the cross-border connection for gas with the United Kingdom, Finality of payments in settlement systems