EU and Britain makes ready for «no deal» chaos
With only 100 days left before the divorce, the preparedness intensified a lot for a «no deal» scenario between the EU and the UK.
– This is an exercise in damage limitation, European Commission Vice-President, Valdis Dombrovskis, comments.
He presented on Wednesday a comprehensive packet with emergency measures to minimise damage if «no deal» becomes a reality.
– But this can not in any way replace the benefits of a signed agreement – and at least not the benefits of continued EU membership.
The crisis measures shall only apply for a limited period of time. They can be called off at any time.
At the same time, the EU Commission makes it clear that the EU will only take action when it is in their own interest to do so.
The backdrop is the growing concern that Britain will stagger out of the EU without having an agreement in place regarding the conditions of the divorce.
The EU and the UK agreed on a deal earlier this autumn, but the deal has faced violent resistance in the House of Commons in London. A vote on the proposal is expected in mid-January.
What will happen if the agreement is rejected, is anybody’s guess.
According to Dombrovsky, the situation is so unclear that the EU has to prepare itself.
– The risk of an unsorted British exit out of the EU is obvious. It would be an absolute disaster, says the EU President, Jean-Claude Juncker.
Limits air traffic
The EU’s plan means, among other issues, that British airlines will still be allowed to operate between the UK and the EU.
This license is granted for a period of twelve months and will ensure that there is no full stop in air traffic across the English Channel. The EU’s condition for this is that Britain provides European airlines with the same conditions.
British airlines are not allowed to operate within the EU’s remaining member states, nor are they allowed to fly between the EU and the rest of the world.
Other measures in the package deal are temporary solutions to ensure that important banking services can continue as before and that it will still be possible to ship goods between the EU and the UK.
The EU commission also makes it clear that the British will be banned from the EU’s climate quota market.
EU measures coincide with a comprehensive package of preparations on the British side.
The British Government agreed on Tuesday that preparations for «no deal» is to be invoked fully. On Wednesday the details of the plan were rolled out just as the EU offered its proposal.
The British preparations include everything from pets to flowers, and detailed information letters are now published on Government websites to warn the British about what can be in store for them.
According to Prime Minister Theresa May, such preparations are the only responsible alternatives as long as the agreement with the EU is not approved by the House of Commons.
But the British preparations clearly show that the situation can be chaotic. The British Army has decided to place 3,500 soldiers in emergency preparedness before the breakup.
The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the EU at midnight on March 29th, 2019 (CET).
EEA pressure worries Erna Solberg
It worries me that the EEA agreement is under strong political pressure, says Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives).
She lashes out against those who call for alternatives to the deal.
– Brexit has exposed the cost of creating uncertainty about the connection to the European market, Solberg says as she sums up the last six months at a press conference today.
She states that some of the most important Government is doing for Norwegian interests is to stand up for the EEA.
– On January 1st, the EEA Agreement will celebrate its 25 anniversary. It is a source of prosperity for a small and open economy like Norway, the prime minister stresses, adding that it is not in the cards for her to join the chorus creating uncertainty about the agreement.
Solberg believes Brexit has shown that the options to the EEA are poorer.
– We need the EEA. It is hard to imagine that we will detach ourselves from the oil economy without proper market access to our most important trading partner. It may be clearer now than before, Solberg continues.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today