Top Brussels officials have once again ramped up their no-deal Brexit plans after Theresa May secured a three-week reprieve to the cliff edge facing the UK and EU on March 29. The Prime Minister has to April 12 to secure the necessary support from MPs for her draft EU withdrawal deal or face being kicked out of the bloc unless Britain holds European Parliament elections. If she manages to pass her deal through the Commons, the UK will stay in the bloc until May 22
A European Commission document states: “As it is increasingly likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal on April 12, the European Commission has today completed it’s ‘no-deal’ preparations.
“At the same time, it continues supporting administrations in their own preparations and urges all EU citizens and businesses to continue informing themselves about the consequences of a possible ‘no-deal’ scenario and to complete their no-deal preparedness.
“This follows the European Council conclusions last week calling for work to be continued on preparedness and contingency. While a ‘no-deal’ scenario is not desirable, the EU is prepared for it.”
A senior EU official added: “We are prepared for this scenario.”
The Commission published updated documents informing British and EU travellers and businesses of how best to prepare for a no-deal divorce.
UK holidaymakers face swathes of new checks, as well as, losing out on free healthcare and mobile roaming when visiting Europe in the event of a hard Brexit.
But Brussels conceded that its plans for the Irish border are still to be finalised while talks with the Irish government continue.
A source suggested that physical infrastructure may have to be used to implement the necessary “controls”.
“Controls have to be done where they belong but doesn’t mean we’d want to see visible infrastructure,” they said.
“We’re working very closely with Irish authorities to try and perform controls away from border if at all possible.
“We are in intense discussions with Irish authorities and must intensify these discussions.”
The Commission maintains that Britain should be putting in equal effort to the Irish issue as a “joint guarantor” of the Good Friday Agreement.
“The UK is expected to uphold this in its letter and spirit,” an official said.