The EU has said that it’s ready for the UK to leave the bloc without a deal and isn’t planning any further contingency measures, suggesting that a no-deal Brexit was “very much possible”.
Updating the press on its latest contingency preparations, the European Commission informed the member states, companies, and stakeholders to be ready for the expected economic fallout. The EU executive told reporters that its intention is to focus on crucial areas including citizens rights, financial services, transport, and fisheries ahead of Britain’s 31 October departure from the bloc.
The EU’s no-deal plans come as Britain’s Conservative Party is picking a new party head and prime minister to replace Theresa May after her three consecutive failures to pass through the House of Commons the Withdrawal Agreement that she secured with the bloc.
Some of the favourites to succeed May have suggested that the UK would leave the EU at the end of October with or without an agreement in place.
“In light of the continued uncertainty in the United Kingdom regarding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement […] and the overall domestic political situation, a ‘no-deal’ scenario on 1 November very much remains a possible – although undesirable – outcome,” the European Commission said.
Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis explained to journalists during the College of Commissioners readout that an assessment was carried to all measures that have passed throughout the years since the Brexit vote in 2016. “The Commission considers that a withdrawal of the United Kingdom without an agreement remains a possible outcome, with all its negative economic consequences. Nevertheless, the Commission will continue to monitor political developments and assess if any extension of the adopted measures will be needed.”
At leaked note from the UK cabinet shows that London is not ready for a no-deal by the end of October. According to the leaked note published by the Financial Times, it will take “six to eight months” to build up supplies for a no-deal Brexit. The pharmaceutical industry needs that period of for help from the government “to ensure adequate arrangements are in place to build stockpiles of medicines,” according to the note.
The UK will also need “at least 4-5 months” to make traders ready for the new border checks that might be required, including incentives to register for fresh schemes.
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