Ursula von der Leyen has admitted that as time runs out for a post-Brexit trade deal, preparations for a no-deal agreement have accelerated.
The European Union expects a ‘disruption’ on January 1 – but the bloc has laid out a number of impact mitigation measures in the absence of a trade agreement with the United Kingdom.
In the U.K. The EU’s single market and customs union would depart at the end of the year, and there will be significant trade disturbances without a substantive agreement.
But after the crisis talks on Wednesday night failed to yield a breakthrough, Brussels stepped up its plans and released emergency agreement proposals.
Negotiations are not complete yet, but the end of the time of transition is near. There is no guarantee that it will come into effect in time if and when an agreement is reached. We need to be prepared, even for the fact that on January 1st there will be no agreement. We are presenting contingency plans today at pic.twitter.com/FQ4Urn9YUCC
-Ursula von der Leyen, December 10, 2020 (@vonderleyen)
Here’s a look at the plans, all of which are subject to fair competition laws being implemented.
– Wetlands, fisheries
Fishing rights were one of the main stumbling blocks in the talks, but their fishing boats will still have access to British waters in 2021 under the EU’s proposals.
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The bloc says the steps will remain in effect until 31 Dec. 2021 or until a fisheries agreement with the United Kingdom is reached. – what comes first.
The EU argues that there is a need for reciprocal access to each other’s waters to ensure the survival of fisheries and the livelihoods of those who depend on them.
– Highways and railways
There will be “serious disruptions” to road freight without an agreement on the potential relationship that could endanger public order, the Commission claims.
Lorries queuing in Kent (Aaron Chown/PA) on the A20 near Dover.
It therefore recommends that basic road freight and passenger transport connectivity be preserved for a period of six months – if the United Kingdom grants EU carriers equal privileges.
The proposed steps would also ensure that, before other plans are made, the Channel Tunnel would continue to work after Jan. 1.
– Traffic in the air
Air traffic would be “disrupted” if, at the end of the transition phase, there are no contingency measures for air traffic, says the Commission.
A variety of initiatives have been suggested by the EU (John Walton/PA).
It has introduced a proposal that would allow the operation of some air services between the U.K. Six months, and the EU.
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It will make U.K. Airlines operate scheduled and non-scheduled international passenger and cargo services between points in the UK to fly over the bloc without landing, make stopovers for non-traffic purposes and In the EU, and points.
Measures to ensure that different product protection certificates can continue to be used on EU aircraft have also been proposed by the Commission – avoiding the ban on aircraft flying.