As it is increasingly likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal on 12 April, the European Commission has today completed its “no-deal” preparations.
Following a request by Prime Minister Theresa May, the European Council (Article 50) agreed on Thursday 21 March to extend the UK's departure date to 22 May 2019, provided the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons by 29 March 2019 at the latest. If the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved by the House of Commons by then, the European Council has agreed to an extension until 12 April 2019. In that scenario, the United Kingdom would be expected to indicate a way forward before this date.
A “no-deal” scenario
In a “no-deal” scenario, the UK will become a third country without any transitionary arrangements. All EU primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the UK from that moment onwards. There will be no transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. This will obviously cause significant disruption for citizens and businesses.
Contingency and preparedness legislative measures
To date, the Commission has tabled 19 legislative proposals. 17 proposals have been adopted or agreed by the European Parliament and the Council. Formal adoption of all those files by the European Parliament and Council is currently taking place. Two proposals are to be finalised by the two colegislators in due course.
Social security entitlements
The entitlements (such as periods of insurance, (self) employment or residence in the United Kingdom before withdrawal) of those people who exercised their right to free movement before the UK's withdrawal are safeguarded.
The European Commission has published 90 sector-specific preparedness notices. They provide detailed guidance to the different sectors affected by Brexit.