Communication on targeted contingency measures in the absence of an agreement with the United Kingdom on a future partnership

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2020) 831
Publication Date 10/12/2020
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Communication published by the European Commission on 10 December, setting out the framework for a number of contingency measures to be implemented in the absence of an agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) framing their future bilateral relations.

Further information:

The withdrawal of the UK from the EU was made effective on 1 February 2020, framed by a Withdrawal Agreement which allowed for an orderly departure. This agreement also introduced a transition period lasting until 31 December 2020. Its provisions apply irrespective of the outcome on any negotiations concerning the bilateral future relationship.

As the transition period approached its end, talks aimed at a framework for the future relationship have been ongoing without a successful conclusion. In view of the possibility for a period in the bilateral relations without a framework agreement, a set of contingency measures became necessary. Without such agreement, EU-UK relations would mostly be governed by multilateral international frameworks that both sides are parties, as well by the EU's or Member States' domestic laws in relation to third countries.

However, in the aviation sector, there is no such international fall-back solution, while in road transportation, the fall-back solution of permits (ECMT regime) is deemed insufficient in relation to the UK. Furthermore, access by EU and UK fishing vessels to each other's waters would not be guaranteed. Therefore, the set of contingency measures include:

With the exception of the regulation on aviation safety, the proposed contingency measures are to automatically stop when an agreement enters into force or stop after a fixed period if no agreement enters into force. Should an agreement on a future partnership be in application by January 2021, these contingency measures would not enter into application.

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Commentary and Analysis
BBC News, 10/12/2020: Brexit: What is the EU doing to prepare for no deal?
DLA Piper: Insights, 10/12/2020: No-deal Brexit aviation update: EU Commission releases proposed contingency Regulations

The Guardian, 10/12/2020: EU makes fishing and transport no-deal offers in return for 'level playing field'
Deutsche Welle, 10/12/2020: Brexit: EU unveils fresh emergency 'no deal' plans
BBC News, 10/12/2020: Brexit: EU sets out plans in case trade talks with UK fail
Bloomberg, 10/12/2020: No-Deal Brexit More Likely After Dinner Fails, Officials Say
The New York Times, 10/12/2020: With Time Running Out, ​E.U. Reveals ​Openness to a No-Deal Brexit
Reuters, 11/12/2020: EU boosts 'no-deal' planning as UK refuses to give way in Brexit stalemate
France 24, 11/12/2020: No-deal Brexit more likely than a deal, says EU's von der Leyen

European Commission: EU and UK Forging New Partnership: Getting ready for the end of the transition period
European Commission: Press Release, 10/12/2020: Relations with the UK: Commission proposes targeted contingency measures to prepare for possible “no-deal” scenario

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