The EU has announced it has completed its preparation for the possible eventuality of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. While the EU states a ‘no deal’ scenario is not desirable, it has warned it is ‘increasingly likely’ that the UK will leave the EU without a deal on 12 April 2019.
What does a ‘no deal’ scenario mean?
In the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK will become a third country without any transitionary arrangements. The EU have stated that this means on the date of exit:
- all EU primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the UK from the moment of exit;
- the UK’s relations with the EU would be governed by general international public law, including rules of the World Trade Organisation;
- the EU will immediately apply its rules and tariffs at its borders with the UK, including checks and controls for customs, sanitary and phytosanitary standards and verification of compliance with EU norms;
- UK citizens will no longer be citizens of the EU and subject to additional checks when crossing borders into the EU;
- UK entities would cease to be eligible to receive EU grants; and
- UK entities would be unable to participate in EU procurement procedures under current terms.
EU contingency and preparedness measures
The EU Commission has announced a series of contingency measures in an attempt to mitigate the overall impact of ‘no deal’ scenario. Some of the measures include:
- The EU Budget (in the process of final adoption): in a “no-deal” scenario, the EU will be in a position to honour its commitments and to continue making payments in 2019 to UK beneficiaries for contracts signed and decisions made before 30 March 2019, on condition that the UK honours its obligations under the 2019 budget and that it accepts the necessary audit checks and controls.
- Erasmus + programme: students and trainees abroad participating in Erasmus+ at the time of the UK’s withdrawal can complete their studies and continue to receive the relevant funding or grants.
- Visa reciprocity(in the process of final adoption): visa-free travel to the EU for UK nationals if the UK also grants reciprocal and non-discriminatory visa-free travel to all EU citizens.
- Social security entitlements:the entitlements (such as periods of insurance, (self) employment or residence in the United Kingdom before withdrawal) of those people who exercised their right to free movement before the UK’s withdrawal are safeguarded.
A full list of measures the EU is taking to prepare for a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario can be found here.