The European Commission has released a set of targeted contingency measures designed to ensure basic reciprocal air and road connectivity between the EU and the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit.
The plans also allow for the possibility of reciprocal fishing access by EU and UK vessels.
The aim of these contingency measures is, the commission said, to cater for the period during which there is no agreement in place.
If no agreement enters into application, they will end after a fixed period.
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Negotiations are still ongoing.
“However, given that the end of the transition is very near, there is no guarantee that if and when an agreement is found, it can enter into force on time.
“Our responsibility is to be prepared for all eventualities, including not having a deal in place with the UK on January 1st.
“That is why we are coming forward with these measures today.”
The United Kingdom left the European Union in January this year.
At the time, both sides agreed on a transition period until the end of this month, during which EU law continues to apply to the UK.
The EU and the UK are using this period to negotiate the terms of their future partnership.
The outcome of these negotiations is uncertain – with talks between von der Leyen and British prime minster Boris Johnson having broken down last night.
While a “no-deal” scenario is expected to cause disruptions in many areas, some sectors would be disproportionately affected due to a lack of appropriate fall-back solutions and because in some sectors, stakeholders cannot themselves take mitigating measures.
The commission said it was, therefore, putting forward four contingency measures to mitigate some of the significant disruptions that will occur on January 1st.
- Basic air connectivity: A proposal for a regulation to ensure the provision of certain air services between the UK and the EU for six months, provided the UK ensures the same.
- Aviation safety: A proposal for a regulation ensuring that various safety certificates for products can continue to be used in EU aircraft without disruption, thereby avoiding the grounding of EU aircraft.
- Basic road connectivity: A proposal for a regulation covering basic connectivity with regard to both road freight, and road passenger transport for six months, provided the UK assures the same to EU hauliers.
- Fisheries: A proposal for a regulation to create the appropriate legal framework until December 2021, or until a fisheries agreement with the UK has been concluded – whichever date is earlier – for continued reciprocal access by EU and UK vessels to each other’s waters after December. In order to guarantee the sustainability of fisheries and in light of the importance of fisheries for the economic livelihood of many communities, it is necessary to facilitate the procedures of authorisation of fishing vessels.
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