EC releases 6th Brexit preparedness Communication
Today the European Commission (EC) has released its 6th Brexit preparedness Communication. The Commission's call on all stakeholders in the EU27 to prepare for a no-deal Brexit scenario comes 8 weeks before the scheduled withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union on 31 October 2019, in the light of continued uncertainty in the UK regarding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement. The EC reiterates that a ‘no-deal' scenario on 1 November 2019 remains a possible, although undesirable, outcome.
The EC Communication includes a detailed checklist for businesses trading with the UK to make final preparations. In addition the EC proposes to the European Parliament and the Council to make targeted technical adjustments to the duration of the EU's ‘no-deal' contingency measures in the area of transport, as well as to mirror the existing 2019 contingency arrangements for 2020 regarding the fisheries sector and the EU 2020 bugdet. The Commission also proposes that the European Solidarity Fund and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund are available to support businesses, workers and Member States most affected by a ‘no-deal' scenario. All these proposals need to be agreed by the European Parliament and the Council.
With regard to the EU budget, the Commission proposes to extend the existing contingency Budget Regulation for 2019 with a similar measure for 2020. This means that the UK and UK beneficiaries would remain eligible to participate in programmes under the EU budget and to receive financing until the end of 2020 if the UK accepts and fulfils the conditions already set out in the 2019 contingency Regulation, pays its budget contributions for 2020 and allows the required audits and controls to take place.
The Commission reiterates that in a ‘no-deal' scenario, the UK will become a third country without any transitional period. All EU primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the UK from that moment onwards. In case of a 'no-deal' scenario, the UK would be expected to address three main separation issues as a precondition before the EU would consider embarking on discussions about the future relationship. These are: (1) protecting and upholding the rights of citizens who have used their right to free movement before Brexit, (2) honouring the financial obligations the UK has made as a Member State and (3) preserving the letter and spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and peace on the island of Ireland, as well as the integrity of the internal market.
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