The EU has completed plans for a no-deal Brexit, which it warned looks ‘increasingly likely’.
‘While a “no-deal” scenario is not desirable, the EU is prepared for it,’ the European Commission said in a statement from Brussels on 25 March.
They urged all EU citizens and businesses to complete their own no-deal preparations.
It comes after Theresa May asked the EU for an extension to Brexit, which was supposed to take place on 29 March.
The EU agreed an extension until 22 May, but only if the prime minister can pass her Withdrawal Agreement – a deal MPs have already rejected twice.
If she can’t, the EU has only granted an extension until 12 April, meaning we may ‘crash out’ on that date if no alternative ideas are put forward.
‘The EU has prepared for this scenario and has remained united throughout its preparations,’ the Commission said.
‘It is now important that everyone is ready for and aware of the practical consequences a “no-deal” scenario brings.’
If we leave without a deal next month, all EU law will immediately cease to apply to the UK. There will be no transition period, as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement.
‘This will obviously cause significant disruption for citizens and businesses,’ the EU said.
The EU says it will implement various policies unilaterally to mitigate the chaos of a no-deal Brexit.
‘They are not “mini-deals” and have not been negotiated with the UK,’ they said.
Such plans include:
- Visa-free travel for UK citizens, as long as EU citizens can also travel visa-free
- Temporary measures to keep finance running, such as to make sure there’s no immediate disruption in the central clearing of derivatives
- Continuing the PEACE programme on the island of Ireland until the end of 2020
- ‘Basic air connectivity in order to avoid full interruption of air traffic between the EU and the UK’