EU Chief Releases ‘No Offer’ Brexit Contingency Strategy

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday published a back-up strategy to protect road and flight and fishing rights if Britain leaves the union without a trade deal.

The UK left the European Union on January 31 and at the end of this month will leave the bloc’s single market and customizeds union, bringing a half-century of ever closer economic combination to an end.

Arbitrators from London and Brussels have been trying to concur a follow-on trade pact that would govern cross-Channel service after the shift duration ends, however talks are deadlocked with 3 weeks to go.

The EU’s Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost resumed their talks on Thursday with barely 72 hours left before the definitive minute, and the contingency strategy functioned as “no offer” alerting shot.

” Negotiations are still ongoing. Nevertheless, considered that the end of the transition is extremely near, there is no warranty that if and when a contract is discovered, it can participate in force on time,” von der Leyen stated.

” Our obligation is to be prepared for all possibilities, consisting of not having a handle location with the UK on 1 January 2021. That is why we are coming forward with these measures today.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took a trip to Brussels on Wednesday for a working dinner with von der Leyen to talk through the logjam, and the leaders agreed to give the negotiators up until Sunday to make a development.

But London is declining to, in Johnson’s view, compromise its freshly reclaimed sovereignty by signing up to match future EU guideline.

Several EU members, especially France, have been pushing for von der Leyen’s Commission and her negotiator Michel Barnier to take a harder line, and to release the contingency strategy to show they are all set for “no deal”.

The EU Commission described the plan as “a set of targeted contingency measures ensuring fundamental mutual air and road connection between the EU and the UK, as well as allowing for the possibility of mutual fishing gain access to by EU and UK vessels to each other’s waters.”

Brexit stockpiling as well as pre-Christmas build up and transport of medical products for Covid care are currently pressing paths into southern British ports AFP/ JUSTIN TALLIS

The procedures would enter into effect on January 1. They would concern an end if a deal is discovered or after a fixed duration.

Basic air transportation will continue for six months offered the UK consents to reciprocate, as will access for roadway haulage.

The interim fisheries guideline would continue until completion of 2021, but it attends to “continued mutual access by EU and UK vessels to each other’s waters”.

Johnson’s federal government insists it will assume complete sovereignty over its waters on January 1, and Number 10 welcomed the publication of the plan with severe caution.

” Once we leave completion of the shift period, we will take back control of our waters,” Johnson’s main representative told reporters.

” And we would never ever accept plans and access to UK fishing waters which are incompatible with our status as an independent seaside state.”

On the transportation issues, Number 10 guaranteed to study the EU propositions, adding: “This type of declaration from the EU is anticipated. We’ve undoubtedly set out our own plans in case of an FTA not being reached.”

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