The United Kingdom has decided to leave the European Union, invoking the procedure foreseen by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The Commission regrets this decision, but respects it. On 30 March 20192, the United Kingdom will become a third country. All Union primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from that moment, unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date.
As emphasised in the Commission’s first Brexit preparedness Communication of 19 July 20183, irrespective of the scenario envisaged, the United Kingdom’s choice will cause significant disruption. The Commission has therefore consistently called on European citizens, businesses and Member States to prepare for all possible scenarios, assess relevant risks and plan their response in order to mitigate them. On 29 June 2018, the European
Council renewed its call to Member States, Union institutions and all stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes.
The purpose of this Communication is to address this call, focusing on a no-deal scenario. It identifies key areas and key actions to be taken, as well as a structure for discussions and Member State coordination between November 2018 and 29 March 2019. Since May 2017, the EU and the United Kingdom have been negotiating a withdrawal agreement. Progress on a legal text, including on arrangements for a transition period until 31
December 2020, was made at negotiators’ level and made public on 19 March 20185.
Further progress was reported in a joint statement of the Commission and the UK negotiators on 19 June 2018.6 On 17 October 2018, the European Council (Article 50) called on the Commission as the Union negotiator to continue its efforts to reach an agreement in accordance with previously agreed European Council guidelines. These negotiations are ongoing and the Commission as Union negotiator remains committed to reaching an
agreement for an orderly withdrawal. While progress has been achieved in many respects, and despite the significant efforts and intensive negotiations, some areas of disagreement remain.
In addition, reaching an agreement with the UK Government is not a guarantee that the
United Kingdom will ratify the Withdrawal Agreement by 29 March 2019.
Compliments of the European Commission