European Commission reticent over no-deal Brexit plans

The European Commission is holding off on updating EU contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit amid a final push in talks with Britain to safeguard free trade from tariffs and quotas in six weeks’ time, Reuters reports EU officials as saying.

The current transition period terminates on December 31st, and all parties are reportedly struggling to reach a last-minute deal on a new partnership to avoid trade ruptures from 2021 and keep close ties on everything from security to energy and transport.

The Netherlands, France, Belgium and Spain have asked the executive Commission - which negotiates with Britain on behalf of the 27 EU states - to update emergency plans to mitigate the worst damage if no new trade deal is put in place in time.

“Now that we are this late in November... it’s high time we ask the Commission to come out with (contingency measures) because we have to prepare, in case we cannot fix an agreement in time,” said a senior EU diplomat.

But the Commission has so far resisted the request, saying it remains focused on getting a deal and that countries, businesses and people have had a long time to prepare for an abrupt split in ties.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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