EU braced for no-deal Brexit 

EU braced for no-deal Brexit 

The 27 remaining EU member states have been told to step up preparations for a “no-deal” Brexit as the Conservative Party implosion on the issue continues. 

The European Commission told remaining members that “everyone must now step up plans for all scenarios and take responsibility for their specific situation”, ahead of Brexit D-day on March 29.

An EU source said the “volatile” political situation in the UK and the lack of progress in the talks in Brussels on key issues had led many to believe that a no-deal scenario had become more likely in recent weeks.

The commission warned of long queues at borders and ports, disrupted flights and new restrictions on data transfers if no deal was agreed in a “cliff-edge” Brexit.

“Contingency planning for the worst possible outcome is not a sign of mistrust in the negotiations,” the document said. “The commission is devoting very significant resources and committing great efforts to achieve an agreement. This remains our goal. However, the outcome of negotiations cannot be predicted.

“Today’s text calls on member states and private parties to step up preparations and follows a request by the European Council last month to intensify preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes,” Brussels’ executive branch said.

“While the EU is working day and night for a deal ensuring an orderly withdrawal, the UK’s withdrawal will undoubtedly cause disruption – for example in business supply chains – whether or not there is a deal.

“There is still no certainty that there will be a ratified withdrawal agreement in place on that date,” Brussels warned. 

The release of the document came as new Brexit minister Dominic Raab made his first visit to Brussels for talks with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier. 

The commission also warned that British citizens and organisations could become ineligible for EU grants and unable to bid for contracts while exports could require new authorisation and certification. 

The document said that even if there was a deal, there would be changes in the way businesses traded. Larger corporations were already turning their backs on the UK as a consequence of the Brexit process, the commission claimed.

Any deal would result in drastic changes, the 27 were warned. 

“Untangling a relationship built over more than 40 years will inevitably result in significant changes in the interactions with the United Kingdom at all levels, including economically and legally,” the commission said. “Everyone must, therefore, prepare for the changes that the departure of United Kingdom will inevitably bring … Many companies are relocating to EU27 or expanding their business in EU27.”

Professionals may need to have their qualifications recognised by an EU member state in addition to the UK. 

October has been given as the deadline for a deal.  


“Brexit: is it worth it?” Picture credit: Eurasia Times

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