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EU issues Brexit 'no-deal' checklist for European businesses

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EU issues Brexit 'no-deal' checklist for European businesses

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(BRUSSELS) - With 8 weeks to go until the possible withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU on 31 October, the Commission reiterated Wednesday its call for EU27 businesses to prepare for a 'no-deal' scenario.

In light of the continued uncertainty in the UK regarding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement – which was agreed with the UK government in November 2018 – and the overall domestic political situation, a 'no-deal' scenario on 1 November 2019, remains a possible, although undesirable, outcome.

The Commission said today that it is in this spirit that it has published a detailed checklist to help those businesses that trade with the UK to make final preparations. In order to minimise disruption to trade, all parties involved in supply chains with the UK – regardless of where they are based – should be aware of their responsibilities and the necessary formalities in cross-border trade. This, it adds, builds on previous Communications and 100 stakeholder notices, which cover a broad range of sectors.

In addition to this, the Commission is proposing to the European Parliament and the Council to make "targeted technical adjustments" to the duration of the EU's 'no-deal' contingency measures in the area of transport. The Commission has also proposed to mirror, for the year 2020, the existing 2019 contingency arrangements for the fisheries sector and for the UK's potential participation in the EU budget for 2020. These measures are necessary given the decision to extend the Article 50 period to 31 October 2019.

Finally, the Commission has proposed that the European Solidarity Fund and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund are available to support businesses, workers and Member States most affected by a 'no-deal' scenario. These proposals need to be agreed by the European Parliament and the Council.

The Commission stresses that it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to prepare for all scenarios. Given that a 'no-deal' scenario remains a possible outcome, the EU executive "strongly encourages" all stakeholders to use the extra time provided by the extension of the Article 50 period to ensure that they have taken all necessary measures to prepare for the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

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